|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2006
|CONTACT: Cynthia Hallett
STATE SMOKEFREE PROTECTIONS GROWING
Progress in Utah and Colorado; New Jersey law effective April 15th
(Berkeley, CA) - The trend toward smokefree air took a giant leap as two more states move closer to becoming smokefree. Utah's Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. signed a smokefree bill into law yesterday, March 16. The bill increases protections from an earlier smokefree restaurant law passed in 1994, making workplaces smokefree on July 1, 2006, and phasing-in bars in 2009.
In Colorado, the Legislature has passed a smokefree bill that will cover most workplaces, including restaurants and bars but excluding casinos. The new bill passed the full Senate on Thursday and the House today. If signed by Governor Bill Owens, Colorado will become 17th state with a strong smokefree law. Colorado won second place in the American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation's 2004 Smokefree Air Challenge in 2004, which recognizes states where the most local smokefree laws are passed.
"The trend towards smokefree air generally starts at the local level where the public can work directly with elected officials to pass innovative, stronger smokefree provisions based on the will of the people," said Cynthia Hallett, Executive Director, Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights. "Strong state laws often follow the leadership and strong policies set by the local jurisdictions, which also leads to better understanding and easier enforcement of the law."
New Jersey passed a law in January 2006 that will go into effect on April 15th. Currently 40% of the U.S. population is protected by a local or state smokefree law. On April 15th, that figure will jump to 42.4%.
Strong Smokefree State Laws
New State Laws in 2006:
- New Jersey: Workplaces, Restaurants, and Bars (4/15/06)
- Utah: Restaurants (as of 1994), new law covers Workplaces (7/1/06)
and Bars (1/1/2009)
If passed and signed: 17) Colorado: Restaurants, and Bars (6/1/06)
# # #
Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights is a national, member-based,
not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping nonsmokers breathe smokefree
air in enclosed public places and workplaces.