Press Releases – House Passes Smoking Ban..

26 05 2009

…with exemptions for cigar shops and casinos.  It’s disappointing, but not surprising.  No biggie.  I’ll just go back to Windsor. 

This first press release is from Michigan House Democrats

House Dems Pass Smoking Ban
Plan protects health of Michigan families

LANSING – House Democrats today passed legislation that would make Michigan the 37th state to ban smoking in most indoor places, including bars and restaurants. The move comes amid ever increasing evidence of the negative public health impact of secondhand smoke. The plan passed 73-31 and now heads to the Senate for approval.

“Secondhand smoke causes thousands of deaths per year that are completely preventable,” said State Representative Bert Johnson (D-Detroit). “This plan will protect our workers and families who regularly face exposure to secondhand smoke in public places, bars and restaurants.”

Secondhand smoke is classified as a Group A carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Exposure to secondhand smoke can cause or exacerbate a wide range of health problems, including cancer, respiratory infections, and asthma, according to the American Lung Association (ALA).

The ALA reports that secondhand smoke causes approximately 3,400 lung cancer deaths and 46,000 heart disease deaths in adult nonsmokers in the United States each year, and that nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at work are at increased risk for health problems.

“The smoking ban puts the health of our workers and families first,” said State Representative Lee Gonzales (D-Flint Township), sponsor of the plan. “By banning smoking in public places we are protecting our families and our children from inhaling this deadly smoke. Smoke-free environments will create healthier communities and save thousands of lives.”

Secondhand smoke is especially harmful to children, the ALA reports. It is responsible for up to 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections in kids under 18 months of age, resulting in up to 15,000 hospitalizations a year. It causes 430 sudden infant death syndrome deaths in the U.S. annually, the ALA reports. In addition, new evidence links increases in the number of asthma cases in children to secondhand smoke exposure.

Thirty-six states have passed laws prohibiting smoking in almost all public places and workplaces. The plan passed Tuesday exempts certain cigar bars and tobacco specialty retail stores because those businesses feature smoking as the primary source of their commerce. The plan also exempts casino floors, which would face competitive disadvantages with tribal casinos that would threaten their viability.

“Secondhand smoke causes cancer and kills people,” said State Representative Joan Bauer (D-Lansing). “This is not the time to let politics get in the way of acting to protect the public health. Each year more of our residents are falling ill and dying due to secondhand smoke; it would be irresponsible not to act quickly in passing this ban. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to take action immediately.”

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This second release is from the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association.  They call it a “Job Killer”  Hey, whatever helps them sleep at night. Read the rest of this entry »

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