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Arizona Health Groups Go Directly to the Voters

After tiring of the Arizona legislature's refusal to pass smoke-free workplace legislation, Arizona health groups are taking their case directly to the voters.  On Friday, the Arizona Secretary of State's Office approved petitions clearing the way for a ballot initiative in November.  The initiative would provide virtually all Arizona workers with a safe, healthy, smoke-free workplace.

"This was a great day," said Bill Pfeifer, Smoke-Free Arizona chairman and president and chief executive of the American Lung Association of Arizona. "Now, it's get the vote out!"

Smoke-Free Arizona will be fighting a competing proposal backed by RJ Reynolds tobacco company.  That proposal, misleadingly called the Arizona Non-Smoker Protection Act, would actually allow smoking in many locations and strike down all local smoke-free ordinances that are more restrictive than the state standard.

If your state legislature still hasn't passed smoke-free workplace legislation, maybe it's time for your state's health groups to do like Arizona and take the issue to the voters.  Contact your local American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, or American Heart Association.

 

Arizona and Ohio Smokefree Ballot Initiatives

This November, voters in Arizona and Ohio will be voting on smokefree workplace legislation.  Unfortunately, tobacco interests have intentionally added similar sounding but drastically different initiatives to the ballot in each state.  RJ Reynolds has already committed $40 million to pass the misleading, fake, weak, proposals. 

Here's a more precise explanation...

ARIZONA:  YES on 201; NO on 206

In Arizona, voters will cast their ballots on Proposition 201 (sponsored by health groups) and Proposition 206 (sponsored by tobacco interests).  Proposition 201 (called the Smoke-Free Arizona Act) would provide virtually all workers with a safe, healthy, smokefree workplace.  Proposition 206 (called the Arizona Non-Smoker Protection Act) would allow smoking in many locations and preempt localities from passing stronger legislation.  If voters pass both Proposition 201 AND Proposition 206, the one with the most votes will become law.

OHIO:  YES on Issue 5; NO on Issue 4

In Ohio, voters will cast their ballots on Issue 5 (sponsored by health groups) and Issue 4 (sponsored by tobacco interests.  Issue 5 (called SmokeFREE Ohio) would provide virtually all workers with a safe, healthy, smokefree workplace.  Issue 4 (called SmokeLESS Ohio) would allow smoking in many locations and preempt localities from passing stronger legislation.  If voters pass both Issue 5 and Issue 4, the weak Issue 4 becomes law because it is actually a constitutional amendment.  Therefore, it is very important that Ohioans vote NO on Issue 4.

 

Americans prefer restaurants, bars, and clubs to be smoke-free

Since my wife Nina and I started publishing Zagat Survey guides in 1979, we've found that people often have widely differing points of view -- sometimes even about the same dish at the same restaurant on the same night. There are very few issues of taste about which people of all ages, genders, and geographic regions can agree.

That's why it catches our attention when an issue garners the overwhelming support of the public. And it is clear from our surveys that the vast majority of Americans prefer their restaurants, bars, and clubs to be smoke-free.

Read more...

 
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