Posted Online: Jan. 03, 2013, 3:18 pm
Letter: Lawmakers keep protecting smoke-free Illinois law
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The Smoke-Free Illinois Act, which protects all Illinoisans from the life-threatening dangers of secondhand smoke, became effective on Jan. 1, 2008. What a difference five years makes!
Today, Illinois workers -- including those employed by casinos, restaurants and bars -- no longer have to sacrifice their health for a paycheck. Families and friends are able to dine out without the risk of exposure to the deadly poisons known to exist in secondhand smoke. And studies show that smoke-free laws not only help protect workers and patrons from being exposed to deadly secondhand smoke, but they also help smokers quit.
Numerous times over the past five years, special interests have tried -- without success -- to repeal or weaken the Smoke-Free Illinois Act.
We should not forget that the U.S. Surgeon General has determined there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, which is a major cause of lung cancer, heart disease and emphysema. In fact, each year secondhand smoke is responsible for nearly 50,000 deaths from cancer and heart disease among non-smokers.
I urge our Illinois lawmakers to continue to protect this life-saving law, which protects the health and well-being of all who live and work in this state.
American Cancer Society
Cancer Action Network