Remember the screaming and the tantrums by the tobacco addicts over Charleston’s smokefree ordinance a few years ago? Remember the anger and the denial, the rhetoric and the lies? (Come to think of it, it sounds like a dress rehearsal for last summer’s town hall meetings and tea party rallies, doesn’t it?)

Well, Charleston finally went smokefree in July 2007. We do not have anystatistics on the city, but national statistics show that heart attack rates are down in areas where strong smokefree laws are in effect. See the message below from Americans for Non-smokers Rights.

More smokefree laws = fewer heart attacks.

A landmark report released today by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) confirms that smokefree laws reduce heart attacks. We’ve known for years that secondhand smoke exposure causes heart attacks, and that even brief exposure to secondhand smoke is dangerous. Today, the Institute of Medicine confirms those findings.

The IOM report is good news for smokefree advocates like you because it’s one more tool we can use to educate policymakers about both the dangers of short-term secondhand smoke exposure and the immediate benefits of smokefree laws.

The landmark report makes it crystal clear that adopting strong smokefree laws will provide immediate health improvements. There are no more excuses for leaving any workers behind. It’s time to close the gaps in smokefree protections because all workers deserve protection from toxic secondhand smoke. If gaps still exsist where you live, call your elected officials and tell them you want a smokefree law that protects everyone, especially bar and casino workers who face the highest levels of smoke exposure.

Smokefree law data from the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation’s U.S. Tobacco Control Laws Database© was cited in the IOM report, and highlights the benefit of tracking smokefree air laws and their impact on public health policy.

Thanks to supporters like you, ANR and the ANR Foundation are able to continue working to educate people on the dangers of secondhand smoke and work to protect the right to smokefree air around the U.S.

View ANR’s press release on the report at and our IOM page at .

To learn more, visit the IOM’s page on Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects: Making Sense of the Evidence at .

Annie at