Secondhand smoke needs to go

Published 3:45 pm Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dear Editor,

A bill to make workplaces smoke-free will be introduced by Sen. Vivian Figures and Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin again this legislative session.

As the current advocacy chairperson of the Chilton County Relay for Life, nothing would be greater than to have our elected officials move this legislation forward to completion in helping us meet our goal of eradicating this dreadful disease. Smoking is a personal decision many people make for themselves, but I cannot name a single person that chooses having cancer. On a personal level, I have seen secondhand smoke cause diseases and premature death in too many children and adults who do not smoke.

Smoking takes the lives of thousands of Alabamians and costs our state healthcare system hundreds of millions every year. Groups like the American Cancer Society are trying to do something about it. I hope legislators do too.

A recent opinion poll showed almost 80 percent of registered voters across the state support a full workplace smoking ban.

So far, 29 states have passed laws that eliminate secondhand smoke in workplaces statewide and I hope Alabama is next.

— Aimee N. Eiland, Clanton