Smoke-Free Progress in Wyoming, Ohio

July 30, 2012

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The past week brought major progress in the movement for smoke-free air in Wyoming and Ohio.

In Wyoming, Casper's strong smoke-free law will take effect on September 1 after opponents failed to collect the required 2,000 signatures to put the measure on the November ballot. The Casper City Council in June approved the ordinance, which will require restaurants, bars and other public places to be smoke-free.

In Ohio, the Board of Regents unanimously approved a resolution urging the state's college campuses to prohibit all tobacco use and sales anywhere on campus.  Each college's board of trustees will have to adopt a policy on tobacco use, but the Board of Regents' resolution builds momentum for change. Nationwide, at least 774 colleges and universities have smoke-free campus policies, according to Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights.

Finally, from Indianapolis, we have more evidence that smoke-free laws protect health without hurting business at restaurants and bars — and may actually help business.  After the city's smoke-free law took effect on June 1, at least one tavern owner saw food sales jump.

'It was instantaneous,' Damon Lyden, co-owner of The Sinking Ship, told the Indianapolis Business Journal.  'It was the day after the ban.  All these new people who are like, 'They’re non-smoking now.  Let’s try it.''

It's no wonder a growing number of states, cities and campuses across the nation are going smoke-free and protecting everyone's right to breathe clean air.