Smoking ban will improve health, increase revenues
Michigan will join 37 other states in adopting a smoke-free law. This law will enhance the quality of indoor air and protect workers from the damaging effects that secondhand smoke has on health. Smoking is the most preventable cause of premature death. The health effects of involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke are widespread, causing heart disease, lung cancer, respiratory problems and increase risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
The health hazards of tobacco use were clearly defined in 2006 when the U.S. Surgeon General issued his report on the dangers of secondhand smoke and the serious consequences associated with tobacco use. It concluded that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke and that the only true way to protect workers is to eliminate smoking in indoor places. This new smoke-free law will improve the health and well being of employees and the general public.
Although tobacco companies have made numerous claims that smoke-free laws hurt businesses, various research have shown that not to be true. Revenue does not decrease as a result of smoke-free laws. In fact, many experience an increase in customers, which increases revenue. A smoke-free state not only enhances our public health image but it’s a good business investment as well.
I applaud Gov. Granholm and the Legislature for realizing the importance of a smoke-free law and its impact on public health.
This is a great time for Michigan.
DeBorah Borden Coordinator Washtenaw County Tobacco Reduction Coalition