Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bismarck, ND Goes Smoke Free

Ok, so you know how we said last week that it is getting embarrassing that all these places are going smoke free leaving us behind with a law that still allows smoking in bars, bowling alleys and private clubs? Well guess what.. Another city goes smoke free before us and this time it's Bismarck, ND! On Tuesday the City Commissioners voted to strengthen their current ordinance to prohibit smoking in bars along with all other businesses. Five years ago Bismarck passed its initial ordinance which required all businesses and restaurants to be smoke free but not bars. Indianapolis also passed its current ordinance five years ago in 2005. Bismarck is also the capital city of North Dakota, just like we're the capital city. With all these similarities it is hard to imagine why we also cannot go smoke free.

So we are now not only the last major city to allow smoking in bars that is not preempted but we are also being left behind by more progressive cities like Bismarck.

Friday, August 20, 2010

San Antonio To Go Smoke Free

Yesterday the city of San Antonio, TX voted to strengthen it's current ordinance to prohibit smoking in bars and pool/bingo halls along with all other businesses. Indianapolis and Jacksonville, FL are the only cities left in the top 15 cities by population without a comprehensive ordinance protecting all workers. The city of Jacksonville is unable to pass a policy that includes bars because it is preempted by the state so really it is just Indy without a comprehensive ordinance.

How long will we stand for other cities and states passing us by before we demand that Indianapolis be a smoke free city too? Take time today to reach out to your elected officials and ask them to support a policy that protects all workers from secondhand smoke.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Email to Councillors

Here is a great letter from a Smoke Free Indy supporter that was sent to councillors last week.

Dear Councilmember,

I am writing to request that you please take into consideration a bill to make all workplaces in Indianapolis smoke-free, including bars and restaurants. As an individual who has lost dozens of family members to lung cancer from cigarette smoking (both from smoking and from being around smokers), I can tell you that this is a very personal issue for me. My grandmother died from emphysema as did several of her brothers. My partner's grandmother and grandfather both died from second hand smoke induced lung cancer.

This year, I met the father that I had never known after 33 years. He smoked for many years until the legs in his arteries clogged. He quit smoking and after his arterial replacement, he had a hernia. His business went under b/c it was shipped to China and he was told that in order to work the only job he could find in his small town of Delphi (a $9/hr job on a hog farm) he had to have hernia surgery. He did so and his arteries collapsed, he had his legs amputated then later died on the operating table. Smoking took away someone I had spent my entire life searching for. It took away my father and my grandmother, both of whom I never had the opportunity to get to know as well as I would have liked, both of whom were incredibly dear to me.

Times are hard right now and people often take any job that they can find, including working as bartenders and waitresses. Why should those people be forced to inhale copious amounts of cigarette smoke simply because they need to pay the bills and feed their children? Why should people who WANT to spend money at bars with their friends be forced to inhale second-hand smoke?

The bottom line is this: When an action you participate in has the potential to harm others, it must stop. Smoking is not a human right, protecting citizens from second-hand smoke should be.

Please, let's get with the program. Step up your focus on encouraging healthy behavior in your citizens. What good is encouraging healthy living and eating if you're not supporting putting an end to cigarette smoke exposure? I refuse to attend smoking bars, as do dozens of people I know because of their own hereditary propensities for getting lung cancer or due to asthma. Show us that your seat on the city council is to protect your citizens' best interests. If this is not your priority, please step down and allow someone else the opportunity to do so.

Thank you!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Pregnant Wife Can't Enjoy Husband's Show

Here is another personal story we got recently which emphasises the need to make Indy smoke free.:

My husband (does not smoke) plays in a local band and often plays at Indy bars, which are not smoke free. I am pregnant with our first child but cannot attend any of his shows because they are at smoking establishments.

How can you not feel for someone in this situation? It is sad on both ends, the husband who has to work in smoke and the wife who has to stay home because of it.

Quit Now Indiana Contest

Do you know someone who wants to quit smoking? Now is the time to encourage them to take the next step towards becoming a former smoker. Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation agency and INShape Indiana are sponsoring the 'Quit Now Indiana Contest.'

First introduced in 2007, the “Quit Now Indiana” contest is designed to encourage any Hoosier resident 18 years or older and who is a regular smoker to quit using tobacco from Sept. 1st to Sept. 30th. The top prize winner, who successfully quits smoking from September 1st to September 30th, 2010, and whose name is randomly drawn, will receive $2,500 as the grand prize winner. The second and third place winners will receive $1,500 and $1,000, respectively.

In addition to signing up online at and, tobacco users can sign up at the Indiana State Fair and the 1-800-QUIT-NOW Concert Series at the Lawn at White River State Park in Indianapolis. The entry deadline is August 23rd.

The odds of winning this contest are much better than the lottery, plus you win the benefit of good health by quitting.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Why We Push Forward

We are starting a new series of posts that feature testimonials that are sent to us on a weekly, sometimes daily basis, from Indianapolis residents who want Indy to be smoke free.

Here is a great one that we just got on Monday (it's totally unedited):

Tell us your personal story: I moved here from Atlanta recently and am shocked and disgusted that Indianapolis is not smoke-free. The Indiana government should be ashamed that their archaic legislature makes us one of the last states to still be \"smoker friendly\". If Indiana wants to make their capital city an attractive location to which successful, productive citizens are willing to relocate and businesses are eager to bring conventions, then the laws making us smoke-free need to be passed!