A new poll released by the Indiana Campaign for Smokefree Air says 70% of Indiana voters support banning smoking in indoor workplaces and public places. The recent poll of 500 likely voters clearly shows that those in the Hoosier state want a strong law to protect their right to clean air. A 2009 statewide poll and a 2010 Indianapolis resident poll had similar levels of support for a smoking ban. Governor Daniels has asked the Legislature to limit the number of exemptions on smoking as they pass HB1149 this week.
The majority of those polled cited secondhand smoke as the major reason for supporting the ban, and believe it is a health hazard. As the majority, they believe their rights to breathe clean air is more important that allowing smokers to smoke. They also believe all workers should be protected from secondhand smoke in their place of work.
Strong smoke-free legislation in Indiana would economically benefit the state in many ways. Workers won’t have to compromise their health for a paycheck. Healthy workers means less lost productivity and lower insurance costs for businesses. It would improve the revenue of the hospitality industry as people would be more inclined to visit smokefree venues. And those Hoosiers who travel to nearby smoke-free states, like Michigan, may just stay closer to home, which means more business for Indiana.
According to the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, only 21.2% of adults smoke in Indiana. This bill would protect more than just the rights of the majority who want smoke-free air. It would protect all Indiana residents from the health hazard of secondhand smoke.
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