Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Belated Congratulations to Montana!

On October 1st, Montana implemented the final phase of their smoke-free air law. Their law includes all hospitality venues and state-run casinos. Congratulations to Montana smoke-free advocates for clearing the air and improving the public health of all Montanans.

A little background: in 2005 Montana's legislature voted to go smoke-free by passing the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act. The Act  requires all enclosed workplaces be smoke-free starting October 1, 2009. This is a very strong law that will protect non-smokers from the hazards of secondhand smoke. Many workplaces including restaurants went smoke-free in 2005 with bars and casinos joining earlier this month. While the four year wait must have been quite long, smoke-free air is finally granted to all workers and customers no matter the business or venue.

While Montana joins the growing number of states and municipalities going smoke-free many states still do not have comprehensive protections from secondhand smoke. Click here to see a map of the United States.

Click here to read an editorial about the newly implemented provisions of the law.

Congrats to Montana for taking a step in the right direction for public health!

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