Approval of Kansas Smoke-Free Legislation Is Historic Win for Health
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
The following is a statement by Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids:
The Kansas Legislature today delivered a historic victory for health and the public's right to breathe clean air by passing legislation to make almost all workplaces, including all restaurants and bars, smoke-free. Gov. Mark Parkinson has championed the legislation, which will make Kansas the 28th state to pass a strong smoke-free law that includes all restaurants and bars. This legislation is a huge step forward for Kansas' health that will protect workers and the public from the serious health hazards of secondhand smoke.
We applaud the leadership and persistence of the many individuals and organizations that have fought the long battle to make Kansas smoke-free. However, it is disappointing that the legislation includes an exemption for casino floors. Casino workers deserve the same protection from secondhand smoke as other workers. No one should have to put their health at risk in order to earn a paycheck or enjoy a night out.
The Kansas legislation, which will take effect July 1, adds to the growing momentum across the country and around the world to protect everyone's right to breathe smoke-free air.
Kansas joins 27 other states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico in enacting smoke-free laws that cover restaurants and bars. The other states are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan (effective May 1, 2010), Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin (effective July 5, 2010). South Dakota has also enacted such a law, but it is on hold pending a voter referendum in November 2010.
A growing number of countries have also passed strong smoke-free laws, including: Bhutan, Chad, Colombia, Djibouti, Guatemala, Guinea, Iceland, Iran, Ireland, Lithuania, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Turkey, Tuvalu, the United Kingdom, Uruguay and Zambia. All Canadian provinces/territories and Australian states/territories have also enacted such laws.
Accessed: March 2, 2010