Idaho State Journal April 4, 2015 POCATELLO — As the television series “Mad Men,” which focused on the advertising industry’s effective effort to promote CIGARETTE SMOKING in America and the people who made it happen comes to an end, Smokefree Idaho is working to do the same thing in the Gate City.
The organization wants to end smoking in all public places in Pocatello.
According to a news release from the group, 83 percent of those polled in Pocatello agree that “all workers in Pocatello should be protected from exposure to second-hand smoke in the workplace.”
The poll was conducted last month by Moore Information.
A total of 31 Pocatello businesses and organizations have joined the list of over 100 endorsers of Smokefree Idaho around the state.
“I know how important it is to provide the healthiest environment for my patrons and workers by not subjecting them to a smoke-filled hazardous work place.” said Angelina Guzman of Chalk Horse Lounge & Billiards. “As a bar owner whose business will be directly affected by a comprehensive ordinance, I urge the Pocatello City Council to lead our community by protecting all its workers from the dangers of second-hand smoke.”
The poll conducted by Moore Information showed that 65 percent of Pocatello’s residents favor a local law in Pocatello that would prohibit smoking in all indoor public places, including bars, offices and other workplaces.
“Voters’ support of clean indoor air increases to 70 percent when asked whether the rights of employees and customers to breathe clean indoor air inside any workplace — including bars — is more important than the rights of smokers to smoke or the rights OF BUSINESSES owners to allow smoking.
“Every worker has the right to breathe clean indoor air in their workplace,” said Stacy Satterlee, Director of Government Relations for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and a member of the Smokefree Idaho coalition.
Satterlee said with support for pursuing an ordinance to protect employees in all workplaces, the Smokefree organization was encouraging Pocatello officials to set a citywide policy reflecting the sentiment of the residents.
“No one should have to choose between their health and their paycheck,” Satterlee said.
Stephen Weeg, board member of the Portneuf Health Care Foundation, Portneuf Medical Center, and the Idaho Board of Health and Welfare, and an endorser of a Smokefree Idaho, agrees.
“A comprehensive smoke-free air law would reduce our exposure to toxic tobacco smoke in all public places and places of employment,” Weeg said. “A stronger smoke-free air law would result in improved quality of life and health outcomes for all Idaho workers and residents. Clean air is fundamental for good health.”
The Smokefree organization said second-hand smoke contains thousands of chemicals, many of which are toxic, such as formaldehyde, arsenic and lead, and that are known carcinogens. It claims exposure to second-hand smoke is a proven cause of cancer, HEART DISEASE and respiratory illnesses.
The organization is hoping the Pocatello City Council will pass an ordinance that would make all public places in Idaho off limits to smoking.
The 2004 bill exempted bars, fraternal organizations, small businesses with fewer than five employees and bowling alleys. If the Smokefree effort is successful, these exemptions would end in Pocatello.