Press Release – CSA’s Take on Smoking Ban Hearings

18 03 2009

From a Campaign for Smoke Free Air press release….

Advocates make their case about need for smokefree
legislation before House committee
Multiple hearings planned throughout March

Lansing, Mich. – Advocates for smokefree workplaces made their case today before the House
Regulatory Reform Committee when they testified on smokefree legislation and urged its
immediate passage. Multiple bills have been introduced and referred to the house committee,
which began a series of hearings this week.

The Campaign for Smokefree Air (CSA) is continuing to work with lawmakers in the House and
Senate to make Michigan the 36th state to embrace smokefree air and protect all workers from
exposure to the dangerous toxins in secondhand smoke. Thirty-five other states have statewide
smokefree workplace policies and more than half of Americans now live in a city or state with
smokefree workplace protection laws.

“This hearing is a step in the right direction in the fight for smokefree air in Michigan,” said Judy
Stewart, campaign manger for CSA. “Lawmakers need to listen to their constituents’ persistent
demands for smokefree air and pass comprehensive, statewide legislation.”
The House Regulatory Reform Committee today listened as lawmakers, doctors, business
owners and victims of secondhand smoke gave their testimonies on why Michigan should go
smokefree.

“Protecting all workers from inhaling secondhand smoke is the priority here,” said Rep. Joan
Bauer, D-Lansing and sponsor of House Bill 4341. “No one should have to choose between their
health and their job. As many as 2,400 Michigan residents die each year from secondhand smoke
exposure. It is time for us to do our part in the legislature and protect our constituents.”
Polling sponsored by CSA in April 2005 and January 2008 consistently showed overwhelming
support for smokefree workplaces across Michigan. In 2006, the U.S. Surgeon General released
a report concluding that the only way to protect workers and residents from deadly secondhand
smoke exposure is through comprehensive smokefree air laws.

Committee hearings will continue over the next few weeks.

Today’s testimonies included an anonymous Detroit casino worker who submitted her testimony
expressing concern for her health in having to endure secondhand smoke daily in order to stay
employed. Daniel Haberman, attorney and co-owner of the Bosco in Ferndale testified that
businesses need a level playing field for competition. Haberman also stressed that government
has placed other regulations on restaurants and bars for public health and smokefree air should
not be any different. Carrie Klein who lost her sister, who never smoked, to lung cancer from
secondhand smoke exposure testified about the need for Michigan residents to be protected from
suffering the same fate as her sister. David A. Share of the Michigan State Medical Society
Board of Directors testified about the health effects of not having smokefree laws in Michigan.

 

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3 responses

18 03 2009
Mike

All 35 of those states have some exemptions. I don’t think the bill gets out of committee without them.

18 03 2009
Mid-Michigan Dining

I agree..I don’t think it will either nor should it. I still agree with you that smoking and tobacco shops should be exempted.

18 03 2009
Mike

If I were to bet (keeping with the casino theme), I think they’ll take Rep. Gonzalez’s bill (HB 4377, I think) which has casino and tobacco shop exemptions, and make whatever modifications they need to get it to the floor, whether that’s a longer, temporary exemption for Detroit’s casinos or something else.

They might wipe a bill clean and draft something different, like a longer, temporary exemption for bars, restaurants and Detroit’s casinos. For example, say they all go nonsmoking in 3 years.

But I can’t see Bert Johnson sending it to the floor without something like that. Because anything that gets passed probably wouldn’t take effect until April 2011, unless they can get the votes for immediate effect, which I doubt. He wants consideration for the casinos. So if they can’t get the Senate to agree to a permanent casino exemption (they had agreed last December to exempt cigar shops/bars before it fell apart), if they push it out beyond 2011, that may be an acceptable deal.

Then again, who know what happens on the House floor or in the Senate.

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