Secondhand Smoke Isn’t Red or Blue
Supporters of tea party want clean air, too
Posted by: Editor | Mar 1, 2011
It turns out that we can all get along.
State lawmakers immersed in contentious legislative sessions can find welcome relief from partisan combat on an issue where voter support transcends party lines and ideological leanings: Backing for comprehensive smoke-free air laws.
Polls conducted for coalitions of public health groups working to enact or keep intact comprehensive smoke-free laws in Texas, Kentucky and Kansas have found across-the-board support for laws covering all workplaces, including restaurants and bars. Voters of all political persuasions agree: Lawmakers should protect everyone's right to breathe clean air.
Strong majorities of Democrats and Republicans support smoke-free laws in Kentucky and Texas, where lawmakers are now considering legislation to enact them. In Kansas, where there is talk of repealing or weakening the 2010 statewide smoke-free law , voters disagree strongly — members of both parties want it kept in place.
Voter Support for Smoke-Free Laws is Strong Across Party Lines
And what of voters who share all or most of the views of the tea party movement? In all three states, a clear majority want to be protected from the poisonous stew of secondhand smoke, too. In Kansas, fully 65 percent of those who share the tea party's views support the state's smoke-free law. In both Kentucky and Texas, clear majorities of tea party supporters also want to go smoke-free.
With so many tough political choices ahead, lawmakers should give themselves a political breather and take this popular route to protecting citizens and saving lives.