Citizens File Ballot Initiative for a Smokefree DC
Nation's capital could be next major smokefree city joining NYC, LA, and Boston
WASHINGTON DC, 1/26/04... Residents of the nation's capital will be voting this November on a smokefree workplace ballot initiative. The initiative, filed today, will require a safe, healthy, smokefree workplace for ALL District of Columbia workers.
Sharlene Krantz, the initiative proposer, lost her husband to lung cancer after long-term exposure to tobacco smoke in his workplace. "Secondhand smoke kills. It causes lung cancer, respiratory illness, and heart disease," says Ms. Krantz. "Unfortunately, I know it firsthand."
"With this initiative, we have a chance to save lives and give DC workers a safe, healthy, smokefree workplace environment."
"We are tired of being the only workers who still have to breathe smoke to hold a job." says Noreen Brown, a DC waitress/bartender and member of BREATHE-- Bar and Restaurant Employees Advocating Together for a Healthy Environment. "If legislatures refuse to address smokefree workplace issues, we will go directly to the voters."
Almost all smokefree workplace ballot initiatives (also called referendums) in the last ten years have passed. Two years ago, Florida passed the first and only statewide smokefree initiative by a whopping 71% to 29% margin. "When politicians win an election with 55% of the vote, they call it a landslide," says Brown. "Here is an issue with 70% of public support, according to every poll."
"We're excited about taking this issue directly to the voters, adds Mike Tacelosky, co-founder of Citizens for a Smokefree DC. We look forward to joining the ranks of other world-class smokefree cities such as New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.