Thursday, February 10, 2011

77% of Kansas Voters Support Keeping State’s SmokeFree Law

Even 54% of smokers favor law protecting people from secondhand smoke

Topeka, KS (February 9, 2011) – A new poll released yesterday by a coalition of public health groups finds 77 percent of Kansas voters support the state’s recently passed smokefree law. The poll shows broad support for the law including large majorities of Democrats, Republicans and Independent voters across Kansas.

“Clearly Kansans are showing strong support for clean indoor air,” said Kevin Walker, Regional Vice President of Advocacy for the American Heart Association. “We know that support has grown since the law was enacted and that should send a clear message to lawmakers considering efforts to weaken the law.”

The survey also found among Kansas voters:

  • 59 percent are less-likely to vote for candidates who want to repeal the law
  • 84 percent view exposure to secondhand smoke as a health hazard
  • 54 percent of people who smoke like the state’s smokefree law

The survey of 500 likely Kansas voters was released by a coalition of public health groups. The polling firm Public Opinion Strategies conducted the survey January 11-12, 2011. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.38 percentage points.

In February 2010, Kansas became the 28th state to pass a smokefree law that protects workers and the public from the serious health hazards of secondhand smoke in public places and hospitality venues. The law went into effect on July 1, 2010.

The need for protection from secondhand smoke in all workplaces and public places has never been clearer. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including at least 69 carcinogens. The evidence is also clear that smokefree laws protect health without harming business. As the U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona concluded in 2006, “Evidence from peer-reviewed studies shows that smokefree policies and regulations do not have an adverse impact on the hospitality industry.”

The coalition of public health groups releasing and funding the poll includes the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Sunflower Foundation, Oral Health Kansas, Tobacco Free Kansas Coalition, Clean Air Kansas and Wichita Medical Research Education Foundation.