Majority Leader lead fight to pass smoke-free law
WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Calling him a "fighter for public health who has worked to protect children and families from the dangers of secondhand smoke," the Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund endorses Representative Hugh Holliman for reelection.
"Hugh Holliman has worked tirelessly to protect North Carolina's children and support common-sense public health policies. Because of Representative Holliman's leadership, North Carolina families are now protected from secondhand smoke when they go out to eat, and restaurant and bar workers no longer have to choose between their health and a paycheck. We are proud to endorse him for reelection," said Amy Barkley, Regional Advocacy Director, Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund.
In May 2009 the North Carolina Legislature passed legislation to make all restaurants and bars smoke-free. Representative Holliman led the effort to push the measure through the state House of Representatives with bipartisan support. The smoke-free law went into effect Jan. 2, 2010 and has since been successfully implemented and enforced. Although the law enjoys widespread public support, special interests are working to challenge, weaken or repeal the measure.
"Now is not the time for voters who care about protecting people from secondhand smoke to rest on their laurels. It's important to prevent any weakening of the current law, and ultimately, it should be expanded to cover all of North Carolina's workers. That is why we need to make sure Majority Leader Holliman is in Raleigh standing up for North Carolina's children and working families," said Barkley.
Despite the progress North Carolina has made, tobacco use still claims 12,200 lives and costs the state $2.5 billion in health care bills each year. Currently, 19 percent of the state's high school students smoke, and 42,200 kids try cigarettes for the first time each year.
The Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund is an independent, non-partisan 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization. The Action Fund uses education, advocacy and electoral campaigns to support strong new smoke-free laws and other effective policies to reduce tobacco use and its many harms and costs. The Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund also works to educate voters about positions on tobacco-related issues taken by candidates seeking public office at the state, local and federal level.
SOURCE Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund