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Resolution - Secondhand Smoke

Resolution - Secondhand Smoke

The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Fund Board of Directors
Protecting Workers and the Public from Secondhand Tobacco Smoke
April 16, 2003

WHEREAS the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has classified secondhand tobacco smoke as a Group A carcinogen, along with only 15 other pollutants including benzene and radon; and

WHEREAS secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals and at least 40 known carcinogens; and

WHEREAS secondhand smoke causes both heart disease and stroke among non-smokers and even brief exposure can interfere with coronary circulation; and

WHEREAS secondhand smoke causes serious health effects in children, including bronchitis, pneumonia, ear infections, worsened asthma, and sudden infant death syndrome; and

WHEREAS hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans suffer from respiratory diseases, and many of these citizens must avoid public places to prevent exposure to secondhand smoke; and

WHEREAS secondhand smoke is responsible for an estimated 750 deaths in Oklahoma annually; and

WHEREAS an estimated 300,000 Oklahomans who work indoors are not yet protected by smoke-free policies on the job; and

WHEREAS smoke-free policies increase quit attempts and improve quit rates among smokers, particularly for the majority who want to quit smoking; and

WHEREAS the tobacco industry has made unsupported claims that smoke-free policies would have a negative economic impact on the hospitality industry; and

WHEREAS valid studies of annual sales tax data in over 80 communities clearly demonstrate that there is no negative economic impact on the hospitality industry and that such policies can actually improve restaurant business; and

WHEREAS the Task Force on Community Preventive Services strongly recommends smoking bans and restrictions to reduce exposure to environmental tobacco smoke; and

WHEREAS ten states and over 1,500 communities including over 20 cities and towns in Texas have already adopted strong public policies to restrict smoking; and

WHEREAS a February 2003 statewide poll conducted by Oklahoma State University found that 71 percent of Oklahoma adults, including 31 percent of smokers, support legislation to prohibit smoking inside work places and public places;

BE IT NOW RESOLVED that the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Fund Board of Directors supports the adoption of effective public policy to prevent exposure to secondhand smoke inside workplaces and public places.