California Residents: The smokefree bill is heading to the Senate floor. Please take action!
Publication Date: 2011-05-24
The effort to close loopholes in California’s smokefree workplace law is moving forward. Senate Bill 575 is expected to having a hearing on the Senate floor as soon as Wednesday, June 1.
The bill will close loopholes that leave a large number of Californians exposed to secondhand smoke at work and in public places, such as in businesses with five or fewer employees, warehouses, employee break rooms, home-based daycare, and hotel lobbies.
Senate Bill 575 is facing stiff opposition from cigar and retail tobacco industry groups. They want to keep the current exemption for retail tobacco stores, which is written so loosely that it is used to open cigar bars, hookah lounges, and other hospitality establishments. The opposition has gained traction with some lawmakers, and an amendment was added for a narrow exemption for retail tobacco shops.
We need you to speak up and oppose any attempts to expand this amendment to carve out exemptions for cigar bars. This exemption will not protect the health of people working in or next door to these establishments, who will continue to be at risk from exposure. And the danger remains that the opposition will press for an even wider loophole.
The tobacco industry and their allies should not be determining public health policy in California.
What you can do to help:
Click here to contact your Senator and express your support for Senate Bill 575. Let them know you want the bill to be strong and close all the existing loopholes, without any additional amendments that keep existing loopholes. All Californians deserve to breathe smokefree air on the job.
It’s also helpful to continue to communicate your support for the bill to your family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors. Ask them to speak up too, and to share their stories with their legislators.
Thank you to everyone who has already taken action to support Senate Bill 575! Stay tuned to ANR for updates on the bill and how you can help support its progress.