Vermont - will tighten current smoking ban..

March 12, 2009 - Vermont was one of the first states to begin restricting secondhand smoke at workplaces when it passed the Smokefree Workplace Act in 1987 – prohibiting the use of tobacco and other smoking products under most circumstances.

Tina Zuk, the coordinator of the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Vermont, said current state law allows workplaces to have indoor smoking rooms under specific conditions. She said this is unfair for nonsmoking workers, who expect that they would not be exposed to secondhand smoke (passive smoking, involuntary smoking, environmental tobacco smoke, sidestream smoke) on the job. There's no such things as a NO Smoking Section.

"I don't think most Vermonters realize that you can still smoke indoors in some workplaces," Zuk said. "But times have changed. We used to see smoking as something that bothers people, gets in their eyes and makes them smell yucky. We know now that it is also a killer." The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General (June, 2006). ( Richard H. Carmona, M.D., MPH, the 17th Surgeon General of the United States.)

Sen. Kevin Mullin, R-Rutland, a member of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee and one of the sponsors of the bill, said states that have enacted similar laws have seen dramatic decreases in the number of heart attacks – one of the physical fallouts from tobacco use.

Mullin said he believes many employers support this bill because cigarette smokers can sometimes be less productive in the workplace, take more frequent breaks and get sick more often than their nonsmoking co-workers.

The bill, S.7, is expected to be voted on in the Vermont Senate on Tuesday, March 17. An identical bill has been introduced in the Vermont House, but it has not yet had a committee hearing.

A couple news brief: Smoking bans lower heart attacks..; Secondhand (environmental,involuntary, passive) Smoke: Blood Vessel Damage Within Minutes..

Reference: State to ban smoking at all workplacesby DANIEL BARLOW VERMONT PRESS BUREAU - Published: March 10, 2009.

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