Help Needed re Michigan Bills 25-31 May 2008

HB 4163

HB 4532

Re HB 4163.

Contact your Representative today. Urge them to vote now to concur with HB 4163 and to stop delaying. Call 888-NOW-I-CAN to reach your Representative.

Print out this ad in support of smokefree air. Help spread the word by putting it in your window, handing it out in your community, or forwarding it to friends. The download link is: http://www.no-smoke.org/pdf/SupportSmokefreeMichigan.pdf.

Keep an eye out for state lawmakers in your area during the summer at parades and community festivals. When you find them, express your strong support for HB 4163 - smokefree air for ALL Michigan workers. Tell them its time for the House stop playing politics with peopleís health and pass the strong bill without exemptions.

Your dedication to making MI smokefree will thereby pay off. During the latter part of May 2008, MI House Speaker Andrew Dillon (D) and Senate Majority Leader Michael Bishop (R-Oakland) publicly stated that they had been in discussions about the smokefree legislation and that there will be a smokefree bill passed this year. Sen. Bishop recognized that, while he did not vote for HB 4163, judging by the sheer volume and ratio of calls that he has received on this issue that there is overwhelming public support for a smokefree MI!

The MI Senate passed HB 4163 on Thursday, May 8th. The MI Senate passed version would make all MI workplaces smokefree, including bars and restaurants. Because the Senate passed a more comprehensive, more pro-safety, more pro-health, version than the House had passed in December 2008, the bill has returned to the House for a concurrence vote.

This marathon to make MI smokefree is nearing the end. The finish line is right around the corner. I know some of you may be tired and growing impatient but now is not the time to quit. Giving up is exactly what our opposition would like to see happen. The political process can be a long and frustrating one but WE WILL NOT GIVE UP! Please reenergize yourselves during this holiday weekend and prepare to continue the race.

Casinos are trying to stop HB 4163 on banning smoking in their gambling joints, they know the connection between smoking and gambling, http://medicolegal.tripod.com/preventgambling.htm

Liquor lobbyists are also fighting HB 4163, as they well know the tobacco-alcoholism connection which has been known since the time of George Washington, http://medicolegal.tripod.com/preventalcoholism.htm.

Please continue reading for actions you can take to help Make MI Air Smokefree!

1. Beginning at 9 am on Tuesday morning, please call 1-888-NOW-I-CAN today and ask to be transferred to your state Representativeís office to urge quick action to concur with the MI Senate passed version of HB 4163. (The toll-free number is closed Memorial Day Weekend, Friday the 23rd through Monday the 26th of May). An American Cancer Society agent will tell you who your state Representative is and instruct you that you will be transferred to the Representativeís office where you will leave a message with whoever answers the phone. Your message can be as simple as ďI am a constituent of the Representative and I am asking for their quick action to concur with the MI Senate passed version of HB 4163. (Please leave a message even if you reach voicemail.)

2. Please call Speaker Andrew Dillonís office anytime between now until you hear from me that a vote has taken place to ask his office when the smokefree vote will be. Some of you are calling once a day and that is fine to do. His office number is 517-373-8857.

3. We need to see more letters to the editor in support of a comprehensive smokefree workplace bill without exemptions. The letters can be short by stating why you support and urging the Speaker to bring the issue to a vote immediately. Please visit your local paperís website for online submittal instructions. Please submit letters asap for possible printing

4. Ask at least 5 of your friends, family, or coworkers to take action on the 3 steps above!

Below are some talking points that you may include in your messages:
  • Bar and restaurant workers are 50 percent more likely to develop lung cancer due to their prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke on the job. Every has the right to breathe smokefree air. No one should have to choose between their health and a paycheck.

  • A study released last month by Public Sector Consultants proves that smokefree laws have no negative impact on the bar and restaurant industry.

  • Public support for smokefree air laws is growing. Nearly 2/3 of Michigan voters support a comprehensive smokefree workplace law that includes bars and restaurants

  • Michigan has a 99 year history of banning deleterious and adulterated cigarettes.

  • Michigan has a 30 year history of enacting and updating laws to protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke based on scientific data. The U.S. Surgeon General?s Report of 2006 that states that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke warrants the Michigan legislature passing a comprehensive smokefree workplace law that includes bars and restaurants.

  • Re HB 4532. Michigan also needs help to fight a 'smokers' rights' bill (House Bill 4532) passed last Thursday, 22 May 2008, and now pending in the Michigan Senate.

    The "merchants of death" are pushing the smokers' rights bill BB 4532. We in Michigan had to fight this battle back in 1992. Our House and Senate are generally liquor-, casion- and tobacco-lobby dominated. Fortunately then MI Gov. John Engler vetoed the smokers' rights bill. See http://medicolegal.tripod.com/englerveto1992.htm. (But Engler is now out of office, and the new Governor (Jennifer Granholm) is an unknown factor on these matters.)

    The "merchants of death" idea is to stop employers from following
  • Thomas Edison's example of not hiring smokers

  • Anti-negligent hiring law re duty to not hire dangerous people.