North Dakotans Pass Smokefree Ballot Initiative

Statement of Paul G. Billings, Senior Vice President for the American Lung Association

Washington, D.C. (November 7, 2012)

“The people of North Dakota have spoken, and they have chosen wisely to save lives and help fight the tobacco epidemic.

“In overwhelmingly passing Measure 4, North Dakota voters wisely chose to make all workplaces—including bars and restaurants—smokefree statewide. No one should have to risk their health to earn a paycheck. North Dakota will now become the 28th state to meet the American Lung Association’s Smokefree Air Challenge.

“The evidence against secondhand smoke cannot be ignored. Secondhand smoke is responsible for nearly 50,000 deaths each year. The Surgeon General has confirmed that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.

“The American Lung Association applauds voters in North Dakota for approving this life-saving policy. There is still much work to be done. Twenty-two states do not have comprehensive smokefree laws All states must evaluate their progress—or lack thereof—in fighting the tobacco epidemic and take action by passing comprehensive smokefree laws, instituting higher tobacco taxes to deter youth smoking, and investing in tobacco prevention and cessation programs at levels recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Proven policies will reduce tobacco use and save lives.”


About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases.  For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: