Voters Back Smokefree Initiatives in Three States

Residents of Arizona, Nevada and Ohio will soon enjoy smokefree air in public places and most workplaces, thanks to voter-approved ballot measures. The new smokefree laws, combined with other statewide laws and hundreds of local laws already in place around the U.S., mean that smokefree workplaces will now be the norm for the majority of the U.S. population. Despite the tobacco industry pouring over $8 million into backing a weak "trojan horse" ballot initiative in Arizona, voters approved the stronger smokefree law, Proposition 201 (supported by health groups) by 54.2%. Voters in Nevada overwhelmingly approved the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act, also a stronger alternative measure backed by health groups. The law will go into effect November 17th and will bring 100% smokefree air to most Nevada workplaces and indoor public places including schools, day care centers and restaurants. Stand-alone bars and gaming areas of casinos will be exempt. The new law also restored local control to Nevada’s cities and towns, allowing communities to strengthen smokefree policies at the local level. In Ohio, a strong smokefree law passed with 58.3% voter support. During the campaign, the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and other tobacco industry allies placed a competing measure on the ballot which offered no real smokefree protections. Voters rejected the tobacco-backed measure.