Support smoke-free Alabama

Published 9:16 pm Monday, November 17, 2008

Dear Editor,

Thursday, Nov. 20, is the 33rd Great American Smokeout, and the American Cancer Society continues its legacy of providing free resources to help smokers quit. The Great American Smokeout was inaugurated in 1976 to inspire and encourage smokers to quit for one day.

Also imperative in this effort to encourage people to quit smoking are smoke-free laws which make it harder for people to smoke, and protect nonsmokers from tobacco smoke.

The majority of U.S. communities are now covered by smoke-free laws. Twenty-nine states, along with Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have smoke-free laws in effect.

I hope Alabama soon will join the list of states that have taken a stand for the health of their citizens. Last legislative session, we came closer than ever before to passing meaningful smoke-free workplace legislation, but the Senate-backed version of the bill didn’t come up for a vote on the House floor before time ran out on the last day of session.

Our elected officials have a responsibility to protect public health. I hope they will support a smoke-free Alabama in 2009.

– Robert Griffin, Clanton