American Lung Association Applauds Kansas for Becoming the 27th State to Pass Comprehensive Smokefree Air Law

Millions of Americans in 23 States Still Exposed to Deadly Secondhand Smoke

Washington, D.C. (March 11, 2010)

Kansas residents will be breathing easier soon when Governor Mark Parkinson signs legislation into law tomorrow protecting almost all Kansans from secondhand smoke in public places and workplaces, including restaurants and bars. 

However, the American Lung Association was disappointed to see the gaming floors of casinos left out of the final legislation, and hopes Kansas lawmakers will consider fully protecting workers in casinos from toxic secondhand smoke in the future.  

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, nearly 50,000 Americans die each year from secondhand smoke exposure. It is also the cause of a host of other diseases and ailments, including lung cancer and heart disease.

"The American Lung Association applauds lawmakers for passing this important legislation that will save hundreds if not thousands of lives," said Charles D. Connor, President and CEO. "Now it's time for lawmakers in the remaining 23 states to do the same."

Kansas joins 26 other states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico in enacting smoke-free laws.  The other states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan (effective May 1, 2010), Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota (effective if approved by voters in November 2010), Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin (effective July 5, 2010). 

 Elected officials in other states are also considering smokefree air laws.  The American Lung Association urges these lawmakers to summon the political will to act quickly and decisively on behalf of the health of their constituents. Secondhand smoke kills. Comprehensive smokefree air laws are the best and only effective measure to prevent death and disease caused by secondhand smoke in public places and workplaces, as the U.S. Surgeon General has stated.

 The American Lung Association is dedicated to protecting all workers from secondhand smoke through its Smokefree Air Challenge, which is a nationwide movement to eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke in all work and public places. For more information or to get involved, go to www.lung.org/smokefree.

 

About the American Lung Association 
Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is "Fighting for Air" through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.lung.org.