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News Summary

As Oregon becomes increasingly smokefree, people are breathing easier

Publication Date: 2/3/2010
  • Author:Opinion: Sue Fratt
  • Publication:Statesman Journal

As Oregonians take a deep breath and plunge headfirst into this new decade, let's take a moment to fill our lungs with clean, smokefree air and celebrate the one-year anniversary of our state's Smokefree Workplace Law. Thanks to this law, nearly every Oregonian can breathe smokefree air at work and in many public places.

Oregon's Smokefree Workplace Law is a success. Businesses made the transition to being smokefree with relative ease-a recent study found that 100 percent of observed bars across the state were in compliance with the new law in their indoor areas. But perhaps most importantly, because of the law, almost 100 percent of Oregon workers are protected from the dangers of secondhand smoke and people are quitting their addiction to tobacco. In fact, nearly one in 10 callers to the Tobacco Quit Line in the last year said the new law motivated them to make the call.

In addition to the new smokefree bars, bingo halls, bowling centers and hotel/motel rooms created by the law, many other places cleared the air in 2009. Across the state, businesses, educational institutions, hospitals, parks, fairs, apartment buildings and other places adopted smokefree and tobacco-free policies. Smokefree spaces are quickly becoming the norm in Oregon, and that gives us much to celebrate.