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Letter: Overturn of smoking ban step in wrong direction

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of Daily Journal.

Submitted by the following organizations:

  • Alliance for Health Promotion
  • American Cancer Society – Cancer Action Network
  • American Heart Association
  • American Lung Association in Indiana
  • Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights
  • Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids
  • Esperanza en Jesucristo Ministries of Johnson County
  • Indiana Academy of Family Physicians
  • Indiana Association of Local Boards of Health
  • Indiana Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Indiana Dietetic Association
  • Indiana Joint Asthma Coalition
  • Indiana Latino Institute
  • Indiana Public Health Association
  • Little Red Door Cancer Agency
  • March of Dimes Indiana Chapter
  • Mental Health America of Indiana

To the editor:

Johnson County commissioners missed a tremendous opportunity earlier this month when they reversed course and overturned the smoke-free ordinance that had been voted into place just weeks earlier.

As organizations dedicated to improving public health, it is our hope that they take another look at the issue and make the most of the opportunity to protect people from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

The cries of some business owners were loud, but unfounded. Numerous economic studies in cities and states with comprehensive smoke-free laws have shown no negative impact after the passage of stronger ordinances. In fact, many businesses attract new patrons once the air has been cleared.

Most important, however, is the health of workers and customers. Passage of strong smoke-free laws in other areas have resulted in immediate reductions in the number of heart attacks and other diseases.

The facts speak for themselves.

We urge the commissioners to take a hard look at those facts, listen to the majority of voters who support a strong smoke-free ordinance and pass a comprehensive county-wide smoke-free ordinance.

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