The Smokefree Video Challenge is looking for the most creative ways to tell the Michigan Senate why Michigan workplaces -- including restaurants and bars -- should be smoke free. CSA is challenging people to produce short, two-minute videos that will be placed on YouTube telling Michigan's senators why Michigan should become the next smoke-free state.
According to the group's Web site, CSA will review all submitted videos and will choose the top five. Then those videos will be placed on the CSA Web site, where people will vote for their favorite video. The winner will receive travel vouchers toward a trip to the smoke-free city, state or country of their choice, and with some 30 states and numerous countries already smoke free -- France is the latest to go smoke free -- they have a lot of destinations to choose from. The winning video may also be used in upcoming CSA advertising. The deadline for submissions is March 14.
In early December, the Democratic-controlled House approved House Bill 4163 -- introduced by Rep. Brenda Clack, D-Flint -- by a vote of 56-46. When the bill was referred to the Republican-controlled Senate, a brief fight ensued as to what committee it would be sent to. Proponents of the bill wanted it to go to what many saw as the most logical place for it: the Health Policy Committee. The chairman of that committee, Sen. Tom George, is receptive to the ban. George is a medical doctor.
Instead, it was sent to the Government Operations and Reform Committee, chaired by Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop. Although the ban has lots of support from people from both parties, Bishop has said he will not only not allow the bill to be voted on, it will not get even get a hearing.
That comes on the heels of a poll released on Jan. 23 by CSA that says an overwhelming majority of Republican voters support legislation to make Michigan workplaces smoke free.
The poll was conducted Jan. 9-12 by Lansing-based EPICA/MRA, which polled more than 500 self-identified Republican voters. The poll said 76 percent favored smoke-free legislation, including 62 percent who "strongly favor it." That number drops when you ask respondent if that includes bars and restaurants, but it's still a majority of voters at 67 percent.
"We're hoping Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop takes this information to heart," said Judy Stewart, the spokesperson for CSA, in a press release.