As a former smoker and heart attack survivor, I am appalled that the tobacco lobby is again gaining a voice with our state elected officials. SB 5542 will allow smoking back into 600 stores and restaurants, putting hundreds of workers at risk by exposing them to dangerous secondhand smoke in order to earn a paycheck.
Didn’t we, in 2005, vote statewide to pass Initiative 901, the clean indoor air law? This was passed by an overwhelming majority.
The current state budget proposal from the Senate not only eliminates funding for tobacco prevention, they are actually funding tobacco cessation through licensing fees that will allow smoking back into public places.
Tobacco use is the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the U.S. Washington currently has had one of the most successful tobacco prevention programs in the nation.
I ask that we not go backwards after all the tremendous strides we have made for clean indoor air and healthier lifestyles.