Legislature should be saluted for passing workplace smoking ban
We, as the leaders of Michigan’s major providers of health care, want to congratulate the Legislature for doing the right thing - passing a law to make workplaces smoke-free. It was imperative to get a bill passed in 2009 and we appreciate that the Legislature understood that. It will be indisputably positive for Michigan’s health. As health care professionals, we see first hand the damage smoking causes to our society. It is impossible to overstate the consequences of smoking when compared to a lifestyle of non-smoking.
Once this new law takes effect, it will be important to ensure that Michigan smokers get the help they need in order to quit. Nicotine, for most smokers, is a powerful addiction. In order for smokers to successfully quit, they will need access to smoking cessation tools of all varieties. Our groups remain committed to that goal as well.
The economy represents another reason why this Legislation is well timed. In 2007, for example, tobacco related illnesses cost Michigan’s Medicaid program more than $1 billion which was an increase from $881 million in 2004. Passing this law now helps keep these health care costs from growing even more as legislators continue to address our state’s ongoing economic troubles. To the members of the state House of Representatives and the state Senate we say, thank you for passing a law that Michigan wanted and needed. You delivered for your constituents. Richard E. Smith, M.D., president Michigan State Medical Society Donna R. Moyer, D.O., president Michigan Osteopathic Association David T. Walsworth, M.D., president Michigan Academy of Family Physicians Steven Dupuis, D.O., president Michigan Association of Osteopathic Family Physicians