WASHINGTON, April 22, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement of Susan M. Liss, Executive Director, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids:
Hard-working New Orleans residents will no longer be forced to choose between earning a paycheck and breathing clean air thanks to the city's smoke-free law that took effect today. The new law protects employees and customers from harmful secondhand smoke in all workplaces and public places, including bars, music venues and casinos.
This new law in one of the world's greatest tourism and convention capitals adds to the growing momentum across the country and around the world to protect everyone's right to breathe clean, smoke-free air. New Orleans has set a particularly important example for states and cities in the South, which have lagged behind the rest of the country in providing this important protection for health. It's time for every state and community to go smoke-free.
This historic occasion is a reality because of the hard work of so many committed groups and individuals. Along with the many organizations that fought for a smoke-free New Orleans, we say thank you to Mayor Landrieu and the entire City Council that unanimously voted for the law. We are especially grateful for the strong and steadfast leadership of the bill's sponsors, Councilmembers LaToya Cantrell and Susan Guidry. They have been true champions for the health of their city. We urge Mayor Landrieu and the City Council to stand strong in support of the law and reject any efforts to weaken it and leave some workers at risk.
New Orleans joins the ever-growing list of countries, states and cities with comprehensive smoke-free laws. In the United States, 24 states, Washington, DC, and hundreds of cities currently have smoke-free laws that apply to all workplaces, restaurants and bars, protecting about half the U.S. population. And no one is going back because smoke-free laws work.
- They are implemented with very few problems and high compliance rates across the board.
- Businesses – including the hospitality industry – thrive, especially those that embrace the law and use it to attract new customers.
- The health of workers and patrons improves, including declines in the number of heart attacks.
- The public loves the laws, with support growing stronger after people realize even more how much they enjoy smoke-free places.
The new smoke-free law will make the great, unique city of New Orleans an even better and healthier place to live, work, play, visit and do business.
SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids