LOWELL, IND. – Sept. 29, 2010 – In a significant move to protect its residents and workers from the health effects of secondhand smoke, the Lowell Town Council in Lake County voted four to one to pass a comprehensive smokefree workplace law that makes all workplaces including bars, private clubs and restaurants, smokefree. One of the strongest in the country, the ordinance will take effect on Jan. 2, 2011.

“The Indiana Campaign for Smokefree Air applauds the Lowell Town Council for standing up for the health of residents and workers in the community by passing the smokefree air ordinance,” said Ambre Marr, legislative liaison for the Indiana State Medical Association and spokesperson for the Indiana Campaign for Smokefree Air (ICSA). “However, far too many Indiana communities are not protected, and despite the best efforts of local lawmakers to protect their residents from secondhand smoke, the patchwork of local ordinances is just not enough.”

Earlier this month, the Indiana General Assembly’s Health Finance Commission heard testimony from state and national experts on the health, economic and business benefits of comprehensive statewide smokefree air laws. The Commission is expected to release a recommended model policy for consideration by the full Assembly on Oct. 28.

“There is just no valid argument that exists that can stand up to all the evidence in support of Indiana going smokefree,” said Amanda Estridge, Indiana state government relations manager for the American Cancer Society and ICSA spokesperson. “It’s the responsibility of the state to protect its citizens, lower skyrocketing health care costs and spur business growth by enacting a statewide, comprehensive smokefree air law that covers all workplaces including bars, restaurants, casinos and private clubs.”

The Indiana Campaign for Smokefree Air is a statewide coalition comprised of national, state and local health, business, and faith-based organizations, as well as thousands of Indiana residents committed to protecting all workers from exposure to secondhand smoke by working toward the adoption of a comprehensive smokefree workplace law that covers ALL workplaces. For information or to sign up for our newsletter, visit worksmokefree.org or find us on Facebook.