Oppose Big Tobacco's SB 666 in WV
Publication Date: 2/23/2016
Action Alert! Oppose SB666: Big Tobacco’s latest attack on WV smokefree laws
Last week we alerted you about Big Tobacco’s attempts to undermine local smokefree laws in West Virginia. Those sneaky bills died thanks to your efforts. But now the tobacco industry and their friends in the casino industry are at it again with Senate Bill 666.
Act now! Please contact the WV Senate Judiciary Committee today and urge them to oppose SB 666 and any other effort to preempt local smokefree laws in West Virginia. All West Virginians – including casino workers – deserve the right to breathe smokefree air at their job.
SB 666 is just the latest example in a decades-long history of Big Tobacco attacks on local smokefree regulations in West Virginia. This bill would eliminate the ability of communities to protect gaming and hospitality sector workers from secondhand smoke. It would mean exposing thousands of casino workers to secondhand smoke and prevent future local smokefree laws.
SB 666 exempts and preempts veterans’ organizations and establishments holding video lottery licenses from being covered by any smokefree air laws adopted by local Boards of Health. Read more about the history and impact of preemption.
The U.S. Surgeon General and the CDC have made it explicitly clear that there is no safe level of secondhand smoke. Casino ventilation systems and smoking sections do not address the health hazards. Even tobacco giant Philip Morris says that ventilation systems don’t address the health hazards of secondhand smoke.
Big Tobacco and their friends in the casino industry should not be determining public health policy for West Virginia communities. That is the role of local Boards of Health.
There are now more than 800 smokefree casinos and gambling venues in the U.S. Many cities and more than 20 states now require all casinos to be smokefree indoors for the health of the workforce. Examples include Maryland, Ohio, Massachusetts, New York, Maine, and many others.
Thanks again for taking action! Please contact the West Virginia Senate Judiciary committee today – tell them to oppose SB 666 and ANY effort by Big Tobacco and its friends in the gaming industry to preempt local control in WV for smokefree laws and public health! Legislators in West Virginia are hearing from Big Tobacco and the gaming industry every day, so your voice is very important!
Thanks for taking action!