Voters Make North Dakota Smoke-Free

Statement of Susan M. Liss, Executive Director, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Nov. 7 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – North Dakota voters on Tuesday delivered a big win for health by approving Measure 4, which enacts a statewide law requiring all restaurants, bars and other workplaces to be smoke-free. The new law will protect everyone's right to breathe clean air, free of harmful secondhand smoke. No one should have to put their health at risk in order to earn a paycheck or enjoy a night out.

North Dakota is the 30th state to enact a strong smoke-free law that includes all restaurants and bars. We applaud the Smoke-Free North Dakota coalition for its leadership in championing this initiative.

The 67-33 percent vote underscores the overwhelming public support for making all workplaces and public places smoke-free. It adds to the growing momentum across the country and around the world to protect everyone's right to breathe clean, smoke-free air.

North Dakota can look forward to significant health benefits from its new smoke-free law. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds that are toxic and at least 69 that cause cancer. The Surgeon General has found that secondhand smoke causes lung cancer, heart disease, serious respiratory illnesses, low birth weight and sudden infant death syndrome. No one should have to put their health at risk in order to earn a paycheck or enjoy a night out.

North Dakota joins 29 other states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico that have smoke-free laws covering restaurants and bars. The states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

It's time for every state and community to be smoke-free.

 

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