The Mid-Coast Maine Promotion for Clean Indoor Air supports the recently adopted clean indoor act for restaurants, and commends Governor Angus S. King, Jr., for signing it. All workers are entitled to safe worksites, as are the customers.
Current workplace laws such as the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), 29 USC § 651 - § 678 in fact already require this -- unqualified and absolute safety -- in all workplaces. The current workplace safety laws should be enforced. Enforcement would moot the passage of duplicative additional, laws.
Enforcement would also end the necessity, as now, for workers to have to sue to obtain safe (i.e., smoke-free) workplaces. For example, a State of Washington worker has had to sue to request a court order directing enforcement of the workplace safety law. His web-site request for a safe work-place has information that you may find useful in securing a safe workplace for yourself as well.
That is not the only workplace safety lawsuit brought by workers seeking safe workplaces, and forced to resort to seeking court orders to compel employers to obey the already existing laws. Examples of pioneering worker cases seeking safe (smoke-free) workplaces by court injunction enforcing the workplace safety law include but are not limited to Donna Shimp v New Jersey Bell Telephone Co, 145 N J Super 516; 368 A2d 408 (1976), and Paul Smith v Western Electric Co, 643 SW2d 10 (Mo App, 1982), recommended reading at your local law library. Here is the text of the injunction in the Shimp case.
A Maine lawsuit by a worker hurt by smoking is Bath Iron Works v Workers Compensation, Case 96-2162 (CA 1, 6 Nov 1997) (the 40 year smoker was deemed a 100-120 pack year smoker, as per 2˝ - 3 packs a day).
An experienced nonsmoker activist published an analysis of this concept of nonsmokers suing to obtain safe workplaces. The pioneering non-smoking group "Action on Smoking and Health" has posted a more detailed list of workplace lawsuits based on the cigarette hazard. That organization also has a list of multiple types of litigation due to cigarette-caused harm.
Another site has material on why, pursuant to the federal OSHA workplace safety law, and the legal duty to not do negligent hiring, employers are not to hire foreseeably dangerous smokers. Not hiring smokers means preventing the cigarette hazard in the first place. Additional materials can be obtained at law and medical libraries, or, sometimes, by interloan though your local public library. (If you need to see a lawyer, it helps to have done some research up-front yourself; ASH also has other information you may find useful if it comes to that.).
The Mid-Coast Maine Promotion for Clean Indoor Air supports the activities of other nonsmoker groups which have had success in getting good laws passed, for example,
For details on Michigan's model law, click here. The Michigan sponsor of that webpage is supporting a letter writing campaign to get the law enforced. You are encouraged to participate, by writing to the named Michigan officials. Getting a pro-health precedent in one state, can help protect us all.
All residents are also urged to write to our Maine senators, representatives, and Governor Angus S. King., Jr., urging the passage in Maine of a similar ban on deleterious and adulterated cigarettes. Maine should be a leader in protecting smokers' and nonsmokers' rights and health, not a follower. This is especially easy, as both smokers' and nonsmokers' rights are identical in terms of there being a safe product. To see the State of Maine homepage, and obtain information on contacting these officials, click here. To send an e-mail message (for example, requesting a safe-cigarettes law like Michigan's) to Governor Angus S. King, Jr., click here. His mailing address is 1 State House Station, Augusta ME 04333. For a sample letter, click here. The life you save may be your own.
And please also encourage officials of all states, and U.S. Senators, Representatives and the President to adopt a Michigan-type safe cigarettes law in each state, and on a nationwide basis. Here are addresses:
|President George W. Bush||U.S. Senator _______||U.S. Representative __||Governor ___||State Senator __||State Representative __|
|1600 Pennsylvania Avenue||Senate Office Building||House Office Building||State Capitol||State Capitol||State Capitol|
|Washington DC 20500||Washington DC 20510||Washington DC 20515||City State Zip||City State Zip||City State Zip|
To obtain specific State addresses, state websites are often in this format: http://www.state.xx.us, the "xx" being the two digit state abbreviation. The ASH website has a list of governors' addresses. For further contact information, the U.S. House of Representatives website is http://www.house.gov, the Senate's is http://www.senate.gov, and the President's is http://www.whitehouse.gov. If readers can provide more specifics, please let us know at our contact points below.
Site With Background on FCTC
RELATED TOBACCO INGREDIENTS/EXPOSURE SITES
Smokers' Chemical Exposure Self-Test
Nonsmokers' Chemical Exposure Self-Test
A List of Other Recommended Websites
APPEALS TO THE CLERGY
RE CIGARETTE SELLING AS SIN
Details on Cigarette Production As Sin
"Let's Protect Legally The Total Environment"
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