Proposed Indiana Secondhand Smoke Bill an Unhealthy Compromise

American Lung Association Denounces Proposed Indiana "Compromise" Legislation that Exempts Bars and Sells Out Public Health

Washington, D.C. (March 9, 2012)

The American Lung Association voiced its deep disappointment in the “compromise” secondhand smoke legislation released yesterday by the Indiana legislature.

This legislation would protect some workers from secondhand smoke in public places and workplaces, including restaurants, but then would create a second class of workers that would still be exposed to lethal secondhand smoke in bars, taverns and casinos. Some legislators are ignoring the health of Indiana residents as well as the 70 percent of Indiana voters who support prohibiting smoking in all public places and workplaces.

This reckless so-called “compromise” legislation fails to protect the health and well-being of all Hoosiers. It is all the more appalling that the legislation was released on the same day as the U.S. Surgeon General’s powerful new report Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults. This report on tobacco use among youth and young adults reiterated the urgent need for all public places and workplaces to be completely smokefree to protect all workers, including youth and young adult workers, from secondhand smoke. The facts are clear, secondhand smoke kills.

In 2012, leaving workers and patrons in bars and taverns unprotected is simply unacceptable. Across the country, 29 other states, including the number one tobacco producing state of North Carolina, have smokefree bars and taverns. Indiana is lagging far behind the times, and many other states, when it comes to protecting the health of its residents.

The American Lung Association urges all Indiana’s legislators to reconsider this short-sighted “compromise” that sells out the health and future of its young people. We thank those legislators who have worked tirelessly to protect Hoosiers from secondhand smoke in public places and workplaces, and we urge them to keep fighting to protect public health and save lives.

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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, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.lung.org.