Public Health Organizations Support Smoke-Free Legislation

Representative Matt Baker introduced legislation to eliminate exemptions in Pennsylvania’s Clean Indoor Air Act.

May 8, 2017

Harrisburg, PA – May 8, 2017 – This statement can be attributed to five of the leading health advocacy organizations: American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and Americans for Nonsmokers Rights.

“Last week, Representative Matt Baker who serves as the House health committee chairman introduced legislation to eliminate exemptions in Pennsylvania’s Clean Indoor Air Act. We commend the Chairman and urge his fellow state lawmakers to stand up for the health of their constituents by passing a comprehensive smoke-free law.” 

Tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death nationwide. The legislature has an opportunity to protect all Pennsylvania workers from the deadly effects of secondhand smoke. Nonsmokers who are exposed to high levels of tobacco smoke on the job increase their risk of developing lung cancer, and lung and heart disease. Exposure to secondhand smoke kills approximately 42,000 nonsmokers in the United States every year. Pennsylvania legislators have the opportunity to help bring this number down by passing a comprehensive, statewide, smoke-free law in Pennsylvania that covers all workplaces and protects everyone’s right to breathe clean air.”

We know that comprehensive smoke-free laws save lives and reduce tobacco-related illnesses like heart disease and cancer. Our legislators have a proven tool at their fingertips to help prevent heart disease and cancer related to tobacco and we strongly urge them to use it.”

Not only is a comprehensive smoke-free law good for the physical health of the state, but its fiscal health as well. Pennsylvania currently spends over $6.3 billion on tobacco-related health care costs each year and experiences $5.7 billion in lost productivity annually.” 


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Michelle Zimmerman
Senior Specialist, Division Media Advocacy
Hershey, PA