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Washington's Smokefree Law Under AttackWashington's Smokefree Law Under Attack

Publication Date: 2/14/2013
  • Publication:Voice of the Valley

Supporters of Washington’s smokefree initiative are once again defending the popular law and fighting attacks to weaken this important health policy and worker protection. The House Committee on Business and Financial Services has scheduled a hearing this Thursday, February 14 on legislation that would create a loophole in the voter approved, Initiative 901 and once again allow smoking in public places and places of employment in Washington state. If passed, House Bill 1750 would allow cigar smoking in 600 Washington businesses.

“This proposal would truly undermine one of Washington’s most popular initiatives”, said Lucy Asdourian, Senior Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association. “This worker protection was passed by voters in each of Washington’s 39 counties, and it’s working to protect our health.”

“It’s a huge myth that cigar smoke isn’t harmful. Cigar smoking causes cancer of the oral cavity, larynx, esophagus and lung,” said Maura Little, Director of Government Relations for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “And there is a real risk from secondhand cigar smoke. Because cigars are larger, a person smoking a regular cigar creates more air toxins than a cigarette smoker. No employee should be exposed to secondhand cigar smoke, ever.”

“Now, more than ever, we need to keep our smoke-free law strong. Especially when we are actually seeing youth cigar use increase around our nation,” said Carrie Nyssen, Regional Director of Advocacy for the American Lung Association of the Mountain Pacific...