Protect Local Control

Ensuring Community Rights
To Pass Smokefree Ordinances
 

Action Alert

Preemption Repeal in Louisiana: On the Brink

Publication Date: 4/17/2003

Now is the time for state legislators to unite and stand up to the tobacco industry by saying YES to Senate Bill 901, YES to restoring local control, and YES to protecting nonsmokers from secondhand smoke. In 1993, the Louisiana Legislature took a big step backwards by uniting with Big Tobacco. That was the year that the state legislature passed a law that stripped away the ability of local communities to protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke. A decade has passed in which Louisianans were needlessly subjected to the death and disease caused by secondhand smoke. That is ten years too long. Fortunately, Senate Bill 901 has been introduced- a bill that would restore local control to your communities, allowing them to pass community-wide laws that protect workers, residents and visitors from secondhand smoke.

Big Tobacco opposes local smokefree laws because, once enacted, they prove popular and spread from community to community, leading to healthier people and lower social acceptance of smoking. Local laws allow for greater public education and support, are easier to implement, and result in higher compliance. More than 1,600 local jurisdictions around the country have enacted clean indoor air laws, with 243 providing for completely smokefree workplaces, restaurants, and/or bars.

Please ask Louisiana legislators to restore local control by supporting Senate Bill 901. Tell them to put the health of Louisiana ahead of tobacco industry profits.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:

  1. Call, write or fax members of the Louisiana Legislature urging them to vote YES on Senate Bill 901 or any other preemption repeal bill. To find out who your Legislators are, go to this website: http://www.legis.state.la.us/, or call (800) 256-3793. To find your Representative and Senator's address, phone number and fax number, call (225) 342-6945 for the House and (225) 342-2040 for the Senate, or go to this website: http://www.legis.state.la.us/.

  2. Contact the Governor's Office and ask him to say YES to the public health of Louisiana and NO to tobacco preemption. Write: Honorable Mike Foster, Office of the Governor, Attn: Constituent Services, PO Box 94004, Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9004. Phone: (225) 342-0991. Fax: (225) 342-7099. Email: Go to this website: http://www.gov.state.la.us/gov_email.html.

  3. Write letters to the editors of your local newspaper, as well as to the Baton Rouge Advocate. Mail: Letters to the Editor c/o The Advocate, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-0588. Fax: (225) 388-0175. Email: bbankston@theadvocate.com. TIP: sign your letter and provide your contact information, including telephone number, so that the newspaper can verify authorship, if necessary.

For more information, contact ANR at (510) 841-3032.