HELENA, Mont.—Leading public health organizations applaud the legislators’ decision to uphold Montana’s popular, longstanding Clean Indoor Air Act and smoke-free protections by tabling House Bill 285 today. Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 6-5 to table the bill.
HB 285 would have allowed cigar smoking in nearly any bar or restaurant statewide. The following statement is from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and Montana Kids Vs. Big Tobacco.
"Montanans have enjoyed smoke-free protections in our statewide Clean Indoor Air Act for more than 15 years, and bars have been smoke-free in Montana for more than a decade. We are grateful that lawmakers saw through Big Tobacco’s attempt to undermine these longstanding smoke-free protections that have widespread support.
"There is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure and no one should have to choose between their health or a paycheck. Montana’s hospitality workers already risk their health to serve the public and earn a living during the pandemic—and this legislation would have endangered them further. At this critical moment as we focus on public health, especially respiratory health, the right to breathe clean, smoke-free air has never been more important."
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and is proven to increase risk for cancer, heart disease and respiratory illness, among other illnesses—as well as put people at increased risk for serious illness from COVID-19.
About ACS CAN
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society's nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.