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News Summary

Disappointed with smoke-free bill issue

Publication Date: 4/16/2009
  • Author:T. S. Williams
  • Publication:Tuskegee News

As a supporter of smoke-free workplaces in Alabama, I am disappointed in the members of the Senate who voted for amendments to SB 130. The silver lining is that a final Senate vote on SB 130 has been delayed, which should allow our elected leaders time to reconsider their position on this important public health issue.

The amendments to SB 130 gut the bill of any power it had to protect worker health. Excluding most restaurants and bars from being smoke-free leaves many workers vulnerable to the dangers of secondhand smoke. Yet, it's these workers--service workers--who are at higher risk for disease caused by second-hand smoke because they work in smoky environments for eight, 10 or 12 hours every day.

Every worker in Alabama deserves to breathe smoke-free air. I hope the members of the Senate will reconsider SB 130 without any amendments.