Lung Association Urges Delaware to Reject Effort to Weaken Strong New Smoking Law
WASHINGTON, June 24 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The American Lung Association today urged Delaware officials to resist efforts to weaken the state's strong new ban on smoking in most indoor public places.
Gov. Ruth Ann Minner signed the law on May 31. The strongest smoking-control law in the nation, it will take effect on November 27. It bans smoking in bars, casinos, taverns, restaurants, health care facilities, schools (public and non-public), bowling alleys, billiard and pool halls, gaming facilities open to the public, and all common-use public areas such as hallways, restrooms and hotel lobbies.
A legislative proposal has surfaced that would amend the law and exempt bars and casinos. Lawmakers have until June 30 to act on the weakening proposal.
"Delaware's tough stand on smoking in most indoor places will save lives by protecting people from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. Attempts to dilute the law must be rejected," said John L. Kirkwood, president and CEO of the American Lung Association.
"Just last week, a report released by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization ( news - web sites), found that tobacco smoke is even more harmful for smokers and nonsmokers than previously thought," he said.
"This disturbing news is only the latest in a long history of evidence indicting secondhand smoke as a danger to human health. It supports the need for Delaware to stand firm in its commitment to protecting all citizens from secondhand smoke. If the proposal to exempt bars and casinos is approved, other indoor public places such as restaurants and bowling alleys may ask to be exempt as well, leaving the state with a toothless law," said Kirkwood.
"Delaware legislators should stand by their earlier votes to make most indoor public places smoke-free. They must continue to do what is best for the health of their constituents," he said.