Monday, January 31, 2011

HB 1018 Passes House

The House of Representatives just passed HB 1018, the smoke free air bill, out of the House 68-31. Thanks to those Representatives who voted in favor of making Indiana the next smoke free state. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration and hopefully removal of the exemptions added in the House.

Now is the time to contact your Senator in favor of making ALL Indiana workplaces smoke free this year.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Local Media Gets It

The local print media gets the fact that Indiana and Indianapolis needs to pass a smoke free air law this session or very soon for the health of all workers. So why doesn't the state legislature or our local elected officials get it? Yesterday the Indianapolis Star had an editorial requesting that the state legislature listen to Indiana citizens who want a strong smoke free air law and not to those lobbying on behalf of casinos, bars and big tobacco. This week the Indianapolis Business Journal has an editorial urging Mayor Ballard to stand up and support the effort to make Indianapolis completely smoke free. Bruce Hetrick also has a wonderful opinion piece on the exemption for casinos in HB 1018, the proposed smoke free air bill.

Thanks to the Star, the IBJ and Bruce Hetrick for getting the fact that we are falling behind the rest of the country by not passing a comprehensive smoke free air law that protects our workers from secondhand smoke.

Hopefully this will be the year that the state legislature listens to this sound advice by passing a strong smoke free air law. If they do not pass a law this year than lets hope a watered down version does not get passed and we try again in 2012.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

HB 1018 Watered Down..

Yesterday, in the full House of Representatives, HB 1018 got very watered down with exemptions for bars, private clubs and nursing homes. These exemptions are in addition to the ones added in committee for tobacco stores and casinos. The current version of the bill would make all other businesses smoke free such as restaurants, law offices and factories. One good thing that did happen yesterday is that a proposed amendment to add preemption to the bill which would prevent Indianapolis from passing a stronger bill was voted down.

The progress of HB 1018 is very disappointing with 22 other states already having stronger smoke free air laws than this and with more and more states passing stronger laws every year. It is hard to understand why our legislators want to pass a weak bill with so many holes when no other state in the country is passing such a law. I mean seriously we are surrounded by states that are smoke free in all businesses including bars; Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, etc. Last week Terre Haute added its self to the list of cities with strong smoke free air laws by passing a law that will make all businesses smoke free including bars and restaurants. Representative Charlie Brown has a great quote in today's Star "It’s unconscionable that Indiana always brings up the rear,” Brown said. “If a North Carolina can do this, what does that say about Indiana?... It’s mind-boggling how we are so backwards.”

Our partners with the Indiana Campaign for Smokefree Air are working hard to get these added exemptions removed from HB1018 before it gets to the Senate. To learn more about them visit their facebook page:

Please take the time to contact your Representative or Senator in support of making ALL Indiana businesses smoke free this legislative session:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

HB 1018 Advances

Yesterday, the House Public Health committee voted 9-3 to send HB 1018 to the full House. The committee did vote to exempt casinos and tobacco stores from the bill. The bill still has to get through the full House and the Senate before it can become a law. There is also a chance that additional amendments or exemptions can be added to the bill in the future. It would be great if all Indiana businesses were included in the law, and we hope that additional exemptions are not added in the future.

Here is an article in today's Indianapolis Star on the bill:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Matthew Tully Article

In today's Indianapolis Star, Matthew Tully pens a great article on the need to make Indianapolis completely smoke free, that we are falling behind many other places that already have smoke free air laws. He brings up a good point when he mentions that those visitors who will be coming here for the Super Bowl will most likely be coming from a city or state that is already smoke free. What will they think when they come to a place where we favor 23% of the population over the health of our workers and the 77% that does not smoke? It will be interesting to see what happens this upcoming election with the known support of Melina Kennedy for smoke free air and the denial that it is even an issue by Mayor Ballard.

Matthew Tully's article reminds me of the YouTube video produced in 2009 by the American Lung Association on what happened to the then Proposal 371 with the Mayor's intervention.

In other news, HB 1018 the smoke free air bill will be heard for a vote today in the Public Health committee at 3:30 p.m. in the House Chambers. The bill is expected to pass but will probably include exemptions for casinos and cigar bars. We of course would want the bill to cover all workplaces, but it is a long legislative session so we will have to wait to see how it all plays out.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Terre Haute To Go Smoke Free!

Last night the Terre Haute City Council voted unanimously to make the entire city smoke free. The smoke free air law will cover all businesses except outdoor areas, some hotel rooms and tobacco shops, the law goes into effect July 1, 2012.

Way to go Terre Haute for passing a smoke free air bill protecting all workers from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. If Terre Haute can go smoke free, Why Not Indy?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hearing on HB1018

Tomorrow, 1/12, there will be a hearing of HB 1018, the smoke free air bill, in the Public Health Committee. The exact time of the hearing is to be determined but it will occur sometime in the afternoon immediately following the adjournment of the House session. There will be public testimony taken on the bill if you are interested in testifying.

For live updates during the hearing follow Indiana Campaign for Smokefree Airs Twitter feed:

Or check our facebook page:

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bill to Watch

Representatives Charlie Brown and Eric Turners smoke free air bill is HB 1018, please add this number to your bill tracker. There may be an accompanying bill in the Senate but so far nothing is listed on the state website. HB 1018 is a good piece of legislation that if passed would make all Indiana workplaces smoke free including restaurants, bars and casinos. It will be interesting to see what happens to this bill during the legislative process, hopefully Indiana passes a strong bill that protects all workers from the harmful chemicals in secondhand smoke.