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News Summary

70 Percent of Texas Voters Support Law Making Bars, Restaurants and Other Workplaces Smoke Free

Publication Date: 2011-02-01
  • Publication:PR Newswire

Poll shows that a majority of Republicans support smoke-free workplaces

A new poll released today finds 70 percent of Texas voters support prohibiting smoking in indoor work and public places, including restaurants and bars.

The poll, released by the Smoke-Free Texas Coalition and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found support for smoke-free indoor work and public places cuts across party lines, including 67 percent of Republicans, 69 percent of Independents and 74 percent of Democrats. Among those sharing all or most of the views of the tea party movement, 54 percent support a smoke- free workplace law.

"It's heartening to see that Texans agree on the right to breathe clean indoor air," said Doug Ulman, LIVESTRONG president and CEO. "Now is the time for the Texas Legislature to pass this landmark bill that will protect our citizens from the proven dangers of secondhand smoke exposure."

The poll also found that among Texas voters:

* 63 percent are more likely to vote for a state legislator who supports the smoke-free law.
* 85 percent believe that secondhand smoke is a health hazard, including 61 percent who say it is a serious health hazard.
* 76 percent believe the right of employees and customers to breathe clean air in restaurants and bars is more important than the right of smokers to smoke and businesses owners to allow smoking.
* 90 percent agree that all workers should be protected from exposure to secondhand smoke in the workplace.

"All Texans should be able to enjoy a smoke-free workplace," said Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst. "Exposure to secondhand smoke unfairly puts the health of non-smokers at risk and creates an unhealthy work environment for everyone. Now is the time to make smoke-free workplaces a reality."

Smoke-Free Texas Coalition members include the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights, the Campaign fo r Tobacco-Free Kids, LIVESTRONG, Texas PTA, and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. The Coalition is working to engage the Texas Legislature in an effort to pass a comprehensive statewide smoke-free law in 2011 to provide clean indoor air for all Texas employees and customers.

The study comes on the heels of legislation that was filed by Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) and Rep. Myra Crownover (R- Denton). Senate Bill 355 and House Bill 670 propose comprehensive smoke- free legislation that would give all Texans protection from the dangers of secondhand smoke exposure in the workplace.


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