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AMA Urges Ohioans to Protect Their Health from Dangers of Secondhand Smoke: 'Vote NO on Issue 4 and YES on Issue 5'

Publication Date: 2006-10-31
  • Author:Erin Abbey of AMA
  • Publication:U.S. Newswire

Today, Ron Davis, M.D., president-elect of the American Medical Association (AMA), the nation's largest physician organization, encouraged Ohioans to vote NO on Issue 4, which is sponsored by a major tobacco company, and YES on Issue 5 for a healthier Ohio.

"The AMA, and its quarter million member physician and medical student members, are pleased to join the many health organizations in Ohio urging voters to protect the health of their families and children from the dangers of secondhand smoke and urging a yes vote on Issue 5," said Dr. Davis. "The comprehensive clean indoor law proposed by the public health community will reduce lung cancer, heart attacks, asthma episodes and other respiratory diseases and conditions caused by secondhand smoke."

"Don't be fooled by Issue 4. Ohioans who support their right to breathe smoke-free air should vote NO on Issue 4 and YES on Issue 5," said Dr. Tom Houston, director of the Nicotine Dependence Program at OhioHealth's McConnell Heart Health Center.

-- Issue 4: Sponsored by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Corporation, Issue 4 would overturn local smoke-free laws in 21 Ohio cities and prevent any future laws from being passed without another constitutional amendment. Because Issue 4 is a constitutional amendment, it would override Issue 5 if both were passed.

-- Issue 5: Supported by a widespread coalition of health organizations including the American Medical Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association, the Ohio State Medical Association and the Ohio Hospital Association, Issue 5 would protect every Ohio resident, worker and customer against the health hazards of secondhand smoke when inside all public places and workplaces. Issue 5 provides protection to children, the elderly, and those with existing heart and lung problems who are particularly at risk from exposure to secondhand smoke.

Secondhand smoke causes cancer, heart disease, and lung disease in nonsmokers. The recent report from the U.S. Surgeon General determined there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and no amount of ventilation can remove the toxic and cancer- causing chemicals in it.