Jun 8, 2009
ACS rally at the Capitol could pressure a smoking ban vote in the Senate
The much needed and popular workplace smoking ban that passed the House last month may see some action in the Senate this week, based on events in the Capitol in Lansing this week.
That event is the American Cancer Society’s annual Celebration at the State Capitol set for Tuesday. The stated mission of the annual celebration is to “encourage state legislators to make cancer a number one priority,” and smoking and secondhand smoke, the leading causes of cancer, are always major targets.
The more than 600 volunteers will spend the entire day at the Capitol, and the day includes a morning rally, groups of constitutes visiting their Representative and Senator, a Relay For Life event on the lawn of the State Capitol and a closing ceremony. Although registration for the event is already closed because of so many people signing up, you can still come out and show your support.
There is little but politics stopping this bill from going forward. The deadly and harmful effects of secondhand smoke is undisputed, and the evidence from the 38 other states and numerous foreign countries with a ban and new studies that demonstrate a ban will not hurt a bar or restaurant’s business debunks the final argument for implementing a ban.
But the push to get the bill a vote in the Senate over the objections of Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, has been won by the overwhelming support of those voters who support a ban, and they have been relentless in their advocacy.
It’s events like Tuesday’s ACS rally that really demonstrates to lawmakers the support this smoking ban has, and Tuesday’s event may again tip the scales toward a vote in the Senate.