MA Residents: Please take action today to keep the smokefree law intact!
Publication Date: 2011-05-24
Please take action today to keep Massachusetts' smokefree law intact!
Massachusetts’ statewide smokefree air law has been protecting the right to breathe clean, smokefree air since 2004. The law does contain an exemption for tobacco bars, but thankfully 45 communities have chosen to close this loophole at the local level.
Now, the House and Senate budget bills have had amendments added to permanently exempt cigar bars in Boston, Worcester, and Springfield—stripping these communities of the right to take local action. Removing local control is called preemption, and it is has been the tobacco industry’s #1 legislative goal since the 1980’s.
Massachusetts became a national leader in tobacco control because it allows local control and communities are able to take action to adopt strong, innovative smokefree policies to protect their residents. When the state smokefree law was enacted in 2004, more than 100 communities had already adopted local laws restricting smoking in indoor workplaces and public places. Now the legislature is trying to chip away at that important right.
Massachusetts has made too much progress to let the tobacco industry’s goals to interfere with strong public health policy. Who should be making decisions about public health in Massachusetts: the tobacco industry and its allies, or local Boards of Health?
What you can do:
Click here to send a message to your state Senator. Ask them to oppose Amendment #479 to the budget bill,which will permanently exempt cigar bars in Boston, Worcester, and Springfield.
The budget bill may be heard in the Senate as early as tomorrow, so please speak up today!