Letter to the Editor

Clean Air Act

Monday, January 21, 2008

Dear Editor,

Once again, the Legislature will soon begin debate on LB395, the Nebraska Indoor Clean Air Act.

This bill is left over from the 2007 session and had an amendment attached to it that would allow local governing bodies to "opt out" of the state law.

This would have the potential to have a number of different clean air ordinances. I would encourage all to contact your local Senator and ask him to vote yes in favor of the bill that the American Cancer Society supports.

Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States causing over 400,000 deaths annually. In Nebraska alone, 2,400 adults will die prematurely because of cigarette smoking according to statistics from the Center for Disease Control. LB395 will have a direct impact on the healthcare costs associated with tobacco use. Cigarette use alone is responsible for 537 million dollars spent on healthcare in Nebraska, including 10 percent of the State's annual Medicaid expenditures.

This is money that can be better spent elsewhere in the state. This includes both first and secondhand smoke, which LB395 aims to control.

The CDC reports that across the United States Healthcare costs associated with secondhand smoke average 10 billion dollars. So I say, this is one way we can begin to bring down healthcare costs in Nebraska and nationwide.

On Tuesday Jan. 22, I, along with several volunteers, will be making our way to the Capital in Lincoln to Lobby in favor of this bill. I would encourage you to "flood" his office with emails and phone calls on Tuesday and the coming days, let's not let up until he votes to support LB 395.


Shane Smith

Nebraska Lead Volunteer Ambassador

American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network

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  • Obesity costs more per year in related medical costs than tobacco.

    -- Posted by johncmorris on Tue, Jan 22, 2008, at 12:45 PM
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