Friday, July 30, 2010

Two great LTEs from ALA and AHA

Many thanks to the American Lung Association and American Heart Association for the great letters that appeared on IndyStar this week:

City can lead state in becoming smoke free

Have a heart and pass comprehensive smoking laws

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

70% of Indianapolis Voters Support Law Making Bars, Restaurants

Voters back measure to protect workers and customers from secondhand smoke

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (July 21, 2010) – A new poll released today finds that 70 percent of Indianapolis voters support passing a law to make all restaurants, bars and other workplaces smoke-free. The poll shows broad support for the law, including large majorities of men and women, whites and African-Americans, and Democrats and Republicans across Indianapolis.

“Now is the time for the City-County Council and Mayor to reconsider what a significant majority of Indianapolis voters desire - to have all restaurants, bars, and other workplaces be smoke-free. Voters agree that Indianapolis should protect all of its workers and customers from harmful secondhand smoke and join the growing list of great cities that have gone smoke-free,” said Vincent C. Caponi, CEO, St. Vincent Health.

The survey of 500 likely Indianapolis voters was released by Smoke Free Indy and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Smoke Free Indy is a coalition of public health organizations, community-based groups, physicians, businesses, schools, the faith community, and Marion County residents.

By a 70 percent to 27 percent margin, the poll found that voters support a law in Indianapolis that would prohibit smoking in most public places, including workplaces, public buildings, offices, bowling alleys, restaurants and bars. This includes fifty-six percent who strongly favor the law. Support cuts across party lines, including 63 percent of Republicans, 67 percent of Independents and 78 percent of Democrats.

The survey also found among Indianapolis voters:
By a margin of 62 to 27 percent, voters are more likely to support a candidate who supports the smoke-free law over one who opposes it
84 percent believe that secondhand smoke is a health hazard, including 58 percent who say it is a serious health hazard.
72 percent believe that the right of customers and employees to breathe clean air in restaurants and bars is more important than the right of smokers to smoke and businesses owners to allow smoking.
80 percent believe all workers should be protected from exposure to secondhand smoke.
86 percent say bar and restaurant workers have the same right to breathe clean air as office employees.

“Voters recognize what the Surgeon General’s report found, that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and they want a strong law that protects their right and the right of all workers to breathe clean air. People across Indianapolis understand that it is wrong to force workers to choose between their jobs and their health,” said Dr. Ray Henderson, currently practicing cardiologist and Immediate Past President, Indiana Black Expo.

To date, 550 cities across the country have passed smoke-free laws that include restaurants and bars. Of the 20 largest U.S. cities, 15 are protected by such laws. Indianapolis is one of the five that are not.

The need for protection from secondhand smoke in all workplaces and public places has never been clearer. Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, including at least 69 carcinogens. The U.S. Surgeon General has found that secondhand smoke causes lung cancer, heart disease, serious respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis, low birth weight and sudden infant death syndrome. The Surgeon General has also found that secondhand smoke causes tens of thousands of deaths in the U.S. each year, there is no safe level of exposure, and only smoke-free laws provide effective protection from secondhand smoke.

The evidence is also clear that smoke-free laws protect health without harming business. As the U.S. Surgeon General concluded in a 2006 report, “Evidence from peer-reviewed studies shows that smoke-free policies and regulations do not have an adverse impact on the hospitality industry.”

The survey was conducted by the polling firm Public Opinion Strategies. The poll has a sample of 500 registered likely Indianapolis voters and was conducted July 8 and 11, 2010. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.38 percentage points.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Star Article: Stricter smoking ban in Indianapolis may get new life

There is a great article in today's Indy Star by Francesca Jarosz, "Stricter smoking ban in Indianapolis may get new life
This time, mayor's advisers say he's agreeable to seeking a compromise,"
about the possibility of Proposal 371 coming back in the future for a vote. It is now time for Indianapolis to join the over 550 other cities that already have a smoke free air law by passing Proposal 371.

Tomorrow we will be releasing the results from a very interesting Public Opinion Poll, stay tuned for the results.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

El Patron On Westside Goes Smoke Free!

Our friends at the Indiana Latino Institute, Inc. (ILI) have been working with the owner of El Patron to take his bar and nightclub smoke free. On June 15th, owner Edgar Ibañez made the decision to provide a safe and healthy work environment for all his employees and visitors. Way to go El Patron and ILI! Here is a story complied by ILI on this latest success.

For the first time in Indianapolis there is a completely
Smoke free Latino Bar, EL PATRON

Edgar Ibañez has owned several businesses. Along with other family members and Kelly Membreño (his girlfriend), they currently operate the International Convention Center. This is the first events hall that is one hundred percent Hispanic. The capacity for the events hall is enough for both private and public events such as; dances, conferences, community activities, weddings, birthdays, baptisms, and all other occasions celebrated in the Latino community. This events hall is spacious, clean and completely smoke free.

While managing the International Convention Center, Ibañez noticed when he would go out to bars to dance that they were awful and smoke filled. Another thing he noticed was that he could not find a place with a good variety of music. Therefore, he had the idea of opening his own business and with much determination and new ideas he got the opportunity to buy a location that is now known as the Restaurant-Bar “EL PATRON,” the first Latino completely smokefree bar.

For 40 years this business operated as a bar and permitted smoking. The tobacco smell was everywhere. Ibañez conducted a survey with his clients and found that the majority of the people did not smoke or like to visit night clubs that allowed smoking due to the dangers caused by second hand smoke. These results fell in line with his desire to make the Restaurant- Bar “EL PATRON” smoke free. Ibañez began to clean up the bar little by little. He made changes to the location; a new name, determined it would be smoke free and a selection of a variety of music, so people with different taste and from different countries would feel welcome in his place. Now his clients and employees are happy and protected. According to the Centers of Disease Control, making your workplace smoke free will lower business cost and produce a healthier workforce. Thereby, protecting your most important assets – your employees.

The Indiana Latino Institute, Inc. has been in communications with “EL PATRON” for the past six months, educating them and their patrons on the benefits of a smoke free environment. On June 15th, the Indiana Latino Institute, Inc. presented “EL PATRON” a certificate in appreciation for keeping the Latino community in Indianapolis healthy by offering a location to enjoy food and beverage free of tobacco. At the same time they were presented with a smoke free policy to implement within their business for employees and patrons. The U.S. Surgeon General Report concluded that smoke free workplace policies are the only effective way to eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke in the workplace.

ILI congratulates “EL PATRON” for putting the health of their employees and patrons first in going completely smoke free. El Patron is located at 3 Beech Way Dr., Indianapolis, IN, 46224, phone 317-444-1207. Business days and hours are Thursday through Sunday, 5pm to 3am.

To obtain information on how to make your location a smoke free work place contact the Indiana Latino Institute, Inc. (317) 472-1055.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Oh And Kansas Smoke Free Too!

The whole state of Kansas is also going smoke free today. Do we need more reasons to also go smoke free?

Wisconsin Now Smoke Free!

Today the entire state of Wisconsin is smoke free! That's right the entire state, bars and restaurants included, is smoke free. Generally when people think of Wisconsin they think of cheese and beer, and amazingly enough such a state can go smoke free and the world did not end. So what is taking us so long? Wisconsin is now the 33rd state to go smoke free, meaning that when Indiana finally goes smoke free we will be on the tail end of states to pass such a law. It is now to the point where it is not even a big deal to go smoke free because everyone else has already done it including Ohio, Illinois and Minnesota. We are being surrounded by states that are smoke free leaving us as the ashtray in the middle. Kentucky does not have a smoke free air law yet, but Louisville and Lexington are completely smoke free something Indy is not.

It is now time for Indiana and Indianapolis to do what everyone else has figured out is the right thing to do and pass a comprehensive smoke free air law for all businesses. Going smoke free helps people quit smoking, reduces cleaning costs, is what the majority wants and does not hurt business; so lets just do it already.