Nov 14, 2008

Smoking bans gets more ammo as another study says it will improve health

Although the Michigan House failed to take up the workplace smoking ban during its marathon Lame Duck session Thursday night that lasted until 11:30 p.m., proponents of the ban expect the House to take up House Bill 4163 when it reconvenes on Dec. 2 following its two-week deer-hunting break.

The push to ban smoking in workplaces, including bars and restaurants, failed to get the required number of votes to pass even though it got a majority of votes in September. The Senate approved a clean version that had no carve outs or exceptions back in May, but the House balked at requiring the ban for Detroit casinos.

However, a new study released on Nov. 11 may give presents even more ammunition in their quest for the ban. Henry Ford Health System’s director of Cardiac Imaging Research released a study that said if smoke free air were implemented in Michigan a 12 percent drop in heart attack admissions would be seen after just the first year.

Researchers examined the average number of heart attack hospital admissions in Michigan from 1999 to 2006 and concluded that smoke free air could lower admissions by up to 3,340 admissions annually. This study joins numerous other studies that demonstrate a smoking ban is directly responsible for a reduction in the number of acute coronary events.

“Clearly lives are at risk and the legislature needs to deal with this issue with a sense of urgency,” said Katherine Knoll, The Campaign for Smokefree Air (CSA) spokesperson. “Workers have dealt with the dangers of secondhand smoke long enough and these studies can no longer be ignored. The legislature needs to get the job done. It’s time to protect all workers whether you work in an office, factory, restaurant or bar.”

You can call or email the Speaker of the House Andy Dillon to urge him to allow a vote on the bill. He can be reached at (888) 737-3455 or If the bill passed in the House is different than the Senate version, contact Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop to urge him to allow a concurrence vote. He can be reached at (517) 373-2417 or at Also, don't forget to contact your state Senator and Representative to urge a yes vote.

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