Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Indianapolis Star Editorial

Thanks to the Indianapolis Star for penning another great editorial in support of a statewide smokefree air bill. Hopefully 2011 will be the year the state legislature decides to join 23 other states by passing a smokefree air bill that protects all workers.

The 2006 U. S. Surgeon General Report, Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke, identified all the reasons Indiana should pass a statewide smokefree air bill.:

1. Many millions of Americans, both children and adults, are still exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes and workplaces despite substantial progress in tobacco control.
2. Secondhand smoke exposure causes disease and premature death in children and adults who do not smoke.
3. Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), acute respiratory infections, ear problems, and more severe asthma. Smoking by parents causes respiratory symptoms and slows lung growth in their children.
4. Exposure of adults to secondhand smoke has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and causes coronary heart disease and lung cancer.
5. The scientific evidence indicates that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.
6. Eliminating smoking in indoor spaces fully protects nonsmokers from exposure to secondhand smoke. Separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air, and ventilating buildings cannot eliminate exposures of nonsmokers to secondhand smoke.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Spain Going Smoke Free

Yesterday, lawmakers in Spain passed a smoke free air law that covers all workplaces including bars, restaurants and casinos. The new law will go into effect on January 2nd. This new law falls into line with other European countries that are already smoke free including Ireland, England, Finland and Greece. This new law is expected to save thousands of lives by limiting workers exposure to secondhand smoke.

If an entire country can go smoke free, why not Indy?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Quit Now Indiana Winner From Indianapolis

Back in August we told you about the Quit Now Indiana contest in which individuals who quit smoking were eligible for three cash prizes, the winners have been announced and the grand-prize winner is from Indianapolis! Steve Williams of Indianapolis, a 40-year smoker with grand-kids, was named the $2,500 winner after deciding to finally quit for his family.
Steve's success proves that even long term smokers who have been smoking for years can successfully quit. We know from the Surgeon Generals Report released last week that quitting smoking can improve a persons health even if they have been smoking for 30-40 years. If you need to quit smoking or know someone who does have them call 1-800-Quit-Now for free telephone counselling.

Governor Daniels Would Sign A Smoke Free Air Bill

In the Northwest Indiana Times, Governor Mitch Daniels today's states that he would sign-off on a smoke free air law if it crosses his desk this upcoming session. He went even further stating that he thinks that the state could pass such a law in the future and he urges the Senate to give a bill a fair hearing. This year Governor Daniels is showing more support for a statewide smoke free air law than he has in years past, which is good news for the effort to make all Indiana businesses smoke free.

For more information on the Indiana Campaign for Smokefree Air, the group working to get a statewide smoke free air law passed, visit their website:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

New U.S. Surgeon General Report

Today, the United States Surgeon General released a report: 'How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease;' which found that cell and tissue damage happens immediately when a person is exposure to tobacco smoke. This damage changes your bodies DNA resulting in an increased chance of getting cancer and other adverse health effects. The report also found that it is a lot easier to become addicted to smoking and it is harder to quit because modern cigarettes deliver nicotine in a much more efficient manor than in years past. There is no safe cigarette, all cause harm.

There are 7,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke including 70 that cause cancer, this number is up from previous estimates of 5,000 chemicals and over 50 cancer causing chemicals. Smoking causes 85% of lung cancers and causes cancer in most other places in the body. Even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can cause cardiovascular disease and cardiac events. Smoking can also be harmful to diabetics, pregnant women and their unborn fetuses and can cause infertility in women. Secondhand smoke can also cause SIDS in babies.

But there is good news, quitting can reduce the impact of smoking on your body. If you or someone you know needs to quit have them call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free telephone counselling.

We now know that workers are being exposed to the harmful chemicals in secondhand smoke that can lead to cancer, heart attacks and other adverse effects on the body. Indianapolis leaders should immediately take the step to protect all workers from these hazards by passing a smoke free air policy that covers all workplaces.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hospital CEO Letter in this week's IBJ

If you turn to page 15 in this week's Indianapolis Business Journal, you will see an advertisement featuring a letter from all six area hospital CEO's to Mayor Greg Ballard and the City-County Council in support of passing a smoke free air law in Indianapolis. This letter piggybacks with the Letter to the Editor from local faith leaders that appeared in the Indianapolis Star on the November 19th that also asked for a smoke free air law in Indianapolis.

How many of our city leaders and concerned citizens must speak out before our Council and Mayor finally get the message that Indianapolis wants a smoke free air policy sooner rather than later? Please take time to reach out to your Councillor, the four at-large Councillors and the Mayor to tell them you want Indianapolis to be smoke free in all businesses.

Twenty-three states and hundreds of cities have gone smoke free; Why Not Indy?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NEWS RELEASE: Local Universities Ask City Leaders to Make Indianapolis Smoke Free

Yesterday, Smoke Free Indy along with representatives from Marian University, the University of Indianapolis, Martin University, Ivy Tech Community College and IUPUI, participated in a town hall on the importance of smoke free campuses and businesses in Indianapolis.

Here is the news release from that event.


November 30, 2010

Local Universities Ask City Leaders to Make Indianapolis Smoke Free

Indianapolis – On November 30, representatives from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Ivy Tech Community College, Marian University, Martin University and University of Indianapolis, came together to ask city leaders to make all Indianapolis’ workplaces smoke free. The meeting, which took place at the Christian Theological Seminary, highlighted the need to protect the community from the dangerous effects of secondhand smoke exposure and to bring Indianapolis up to par with other world-class cities.

Out of the 20 largest U.S. cities, Indianapolis is one of five that does not have a 100 percent smoke free air law. With the fast-growing number of cities around the nation going completely smoke free, there is no doubt of the economic and health benefits of such a law. Why it is taking Indianapolis so long, is the only question left to answer.

“The majority of our students support smoke free policies. Young adults comprise the majority of the population still exposed to secondhand smoke. We want to be able to offer our students a safe environment not only on campus, but also in the community where they work, live and play,” said Kory Vitangeli, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at University of Indianapolis.

Universities are not the only group speaking out in support of a comprehensive smoke free air law in Indianapolis. Influential business, community and faith leaders, including leaders from Indianapolis’ five hospital systems, have all voiced their support and urged our leaders to enact a smoke free air policy to protect all workers without delay.

“At Marian University, we are committed to educating the whole person: mind, body, and spirit. The ‘body’ component means a healthy lifestyle,” said Ruth Rodgers, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Marian University. “We are excited that in July 2011 we will join hundreds of college campuses across the United States in going completely tobacco free. We are excited to join other local universities in supporting the passage of a smoke free air law covering all businesses in Indianapolis.”

Smoke Free Indy is a coalition of state and local public health organizations, community based organizations, physicians, businesses, schools, the faith community, and Marion County residents dedicated to reducing secondhand smoke, tobacco usage and tobacco initiation through education, prevention and advocacy. For more information visit:

Star and the IBJ Again Support Smoke Free Air Effort

Recently both the Indianapolis Star and the Indianapolis Business Journal have come out in support of smoke free businesses in Indianapolis and statewide. Both publications have repeatedly shown support for passing a law that would require all businesses to be smoke free further protecting all workers from secondhand smoke.

A big thank you to the editors of both publications for their continued support and sound reasoning on this issue. Hopefully our local and state political leaders read both editorials and take their message to heart by passing a comprehensive smoke free air law covering all businesses.

There have also been several editorials recently in support of the effort to make Indy smoke free. These editorials show continued public support for passing a smoke free air law.

WHO Study on Secondhand Smoke

Last week the World Health Organization (WHO), released a study on the global impact of secondhand smoke. The study found that secondhand smoke causes 600,000 deaths annually across the globe:

Smokers are not only putting themselves at risk, but also 1.8 billion non-smokers. In 2004, 40% of children, 33% of male non-smokers and 35% of female non-smokers were exposed to SHS worldwide. This exposure led to:
379,000 deaths from ischaemic heart disease
165,000 deaths from lower respiratory infections
36,900 deaths from asthma
21,400 deaths from lung cancer

These numbers are staggering and they bring to light the need for smoke free air laws that protect all workers from the harmful impact of secondhand smoke. It also highlights why Indy and Indiana should pass a smoke free air law sooner rather than later because our workers are still being exposed to secondhand smoke.

The WHO study correlates with the study released last year by the Bowen Research Center at the
Department of Family Medicine – IU School of Medicine
, that found "Secondhand smoke costs the residents of Marion County $47.5 million dollars annually in excess medical expenses, or about $54 dollars per person each year."

As 23 states and countless cities have gone smoke free; Why Not Indy?