Resolution Passes to Support Smoke Free ND
The board of Governors met in July.
At the board of governors meeting in July, a motion was made and seconded to adopt the resolution of support for Smoke Free North Dakota. The motion carried unanimously.
Resolution of Support for Smoke-Free North Dakota
Whereas, numerous studies have found that tobacco smoke is a major contributor to indoor air pollution, and that breathing secondhand smoke is a cause of disease in healthy nonsmokers, including heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, and lung cancer; and
Whereas, the 2006 U.S. Surgeon General’s report, “The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke,” concluded that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke; ventilation and other air cleaning technologies cannot completely control for exposure of nonsmokers to secondhand smoke; smoke-free workplace policies are the only effective way to eliminate secondhand smoke exposure in the workplace, and evidence from peer-reviewed studies shows that smoke-free policies and laws do not have an adverse economic impact on the hospitality industry; and
Whereas, the Public Health Service's National Toxicology Program has listed secondhand smoke as a known carcinogen containing over 7,000 chemicals, 250 of which are known toxic chemicals and 70 of which are known to cause cancer; and
Whereas, the 2010 U.S. Surgeon General's Report, How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease, determined that even occasional exposure to secondhand smoke is harmful and low levels of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke lead to a rapid and sharp increase in dysfunction and inflammation of the lining of the blood vessels, which are implicated in heart attacks and stroke; and
Whereas, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control states that over 126 million non-smoking Americans continue to be exposed to secondhand smoke in homes, vehicles, workplaces, and public places; and
Whereas, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control states that secondhand smoke causes an estimated 46,000 premature deaths from heart disease and 3,400 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S. among nonsmokers; and 877 North Dakotans die prematurely each year due to tobacco related disease and approximately 11,000 North Dakota youth are projected to die prematurely due to smoking; and
Whereas, the U.S. Surgeon General states that exposure to secondhand smoke by non-smoking pregnant women may lead to premature birth and that exposure to secondhand smoke during pregnancy and after birth increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, a key contributor to infant mortality; and
Whereas, the people in North Dakota have the right to protect themselves against the harmful effects of secondhand smoke; and
Whereas, local governments throughout North Dakota have successfully passed smoke-free air laws to protect people against the harmful effects of secondhand smoke at little cost to local governments; and
Whereas, our organization strongly favors policies and laws that limit exposure to secondhand smoke,
THEREFORE, we, the undersigned support a law in North Dakota to make all workplaces 100% smokefree to protect the health and safety of all workers, residents and visitors from the dangers of secondhand smoke.