The Smokefree Air Challenge



The American Lung Association (ALA) is actively campaigning for a comprehensive smokefree legislation across the US – the so-called Smokefree Air 2010 Challenge.

According to ALA, there are currently only twenty-three states, plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia which have already passed comprehensive laws that protect people indoors -including workers and customers in restaurants and bars- from secondhand smoke. There is a still a lot to be done before the 2010 goal can be reached.

About the challenge

ALA launched the Smokefree Air 2010 Challenge in January 2006,

calling on all states and local communities to pass comprehensive smokefree laws as soon as possible, but no later than 2010 to protect people across the U.S. from secondhand smoke.”

At that time, only 9 states have smokefree legislations in place. Also in the same year, a report from U.S. Surgeon General stated that “there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. The report also concludes that eliminating smoking in all indoor spaces is the only way to fully protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke. We believe – as we know you do as well – that everyone should be able to work in a smokefree environment. People should not have to risk their health through exposure to tobacco smoke in order to make a living.”

Since then, 14 more states plus DC followed suit, reaching a total of 23. These states are as follows:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington

Twenty-seven states more to go. Is your home state on the list?

About secondhand smoke

ALA gives some information about secondhand smoke:

  • Secondhand smoke (also sometimes called passive smoking or environmental smoke) exposure is linked to almost 50,000 deaths annually.
  • 90% of the adult population has detectable levels of chemical signature of secondhand smoke exposure in their blood.
  • Secondhand smoke is linked to “low birth weight babies, asthma, respiratory infections and inner ear infections” in children.
  • In adults, it has been linked to stroke and other cardiovascular disorders.

About the petition

ALA is collecting signatures for a US-wide petition to make US smokefree by 2010. At the time I am writing this post, they have already collected just over 13,200 signatures but still short of their 20,000 goal. If you are interested in signing up, then go for it and click here.

Photo credit: stock.xchng

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Comments

  1. Why is a tax exempt political action committee allowed to use tax free money to lobby lawmakers. Shouldn’t the IRS remove their tax exempt status?

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