Nebraska Governor Signs Comprehensive Smoke-Fee Law

February 26, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. --  February 26, 2008 -- Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman today signed the Nebraska Clean Indoor Act, comprehensive legislation that will eliminate smoking in workplaces, bars, restaurants and casinos throughout the state. The statewide law, to take effect June 1, 2009, was overwhelmingly supported by the Nebraska State Legislature (34-14).  

"We commend the state senators who championed the lifesaving legislation and Governor Heineman for signing the bill into law,” said Daniel E. Smith, president of ACS CAN. “Smoke-free laws benefit everyone; workers can make a living without risking their health; patrons and tourists can enjoy a night out without the hazards of secondhand smoke; and bar and restaurant owners don’t lose business, have fewer employees fall ill from working in a smoky environment and save on cleaning their establishments. Everyone wins.”

The passage of the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act comes on the heels of other statewide smoke-free policies recently enacted in Minnesota, Illinois and Maryland, all of which include workplaces, restaurants, bars and casinos. Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska are currently protected under local smoke-free ordinances, and the new statewide law is among the strongest of the Midwestern states.

The smoke-free trend has accelerated in recent years. Until 2002, California and Utah were the only states with strong smoke-free laws. Then, in 2002, two states (Delaware and South Dakota) implemented smoke-free laws. Three states (Connecticut, Florida and New York) followed suit in 2003, as did three additional states in 2004 (Idaho, Maine and Massachusetts) and five states in 2005 (Montana, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington state). In 2006, six states (Colorado, Hawaii, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey and Ohio) joined the smoke-free club and 2007 saw four more states (Arizona, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico), plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C, go smoke-free. So far in 2008, two states’ (Illinois and Maryland) laws have taken effect with many more states looking to pass smoke-free air laws through their state legislatures. Today, 27 states or more than 60 percent of the U.S. population are living in an area protected by some form of smoke-free law.

American Cancer Society Divisions and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) continue to conduct aggressive grassroots campaigns nationwide and make passage of strong, comprehensive smoke-free laws a priority.

ACS CAN is the nonprofit, nonpartisan sister advocacy organization of the American Cancer Society, which is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage lawmakers, candidates and government officials to support laws and policies that will make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer. For more information, visit

Kat Porter
Phone: (202) 585-3202
Email: [email protected]

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