ARIZONA PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION RESOLUTION DOCUMENTATION FORM
Date Submitted: 8/2/05 Name of Submitted by: Bob England email@example.com
Title of Resolution: Hold AzPHA Meetings in Smokefree Cities
1. Statement of the Problem
The health hazards of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) are well documented, and most workers take it for granted that government will protect them from unwanted ETS in the workplace. Yet workers in restaurants and bars remain unprotected across most of Arizona.
An economic incentive to enact smokefree worksite ordinances that include restaurants and bars exists. Those dedicated to protecting workers and others from ETS can deliberately take their business to cities that have already enacted smokefree ordinances. AzPHA can support its existing legislative priorities, uphold its long tradition in the area of tobacco control, support efforts by many in the community to enact further smokefree ordinances, and demonstrate true leadership by holding its major meetings only in cities which have enacted smokefree ordinances to include restaurants and bars.
Numerous studies have linked ETS to heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and lung cancer. The National Cancer Institute has projected that ETS is responsible for the early deaths of 53,000 Americans annually (NCI Monograph #10, 1999). The Public Health Service’s National Toxicology Program lists ETS as a known carcinogen (US DHHS, 2000, citing Cal. EPA, 1997). ETS is particularly hazardous to older adults, persons with cardiovascular disease, and persons with respiratory diseases. The CDC has issued a warning that anyone at risk for heart disease should avoid entering smoke-filled environments.
While a customer might arguably have the choice to avoid a smoke-filled environment, workers often do not. While many communities have smokefree workplace ordinances that exclude restaurants and bars, a great many workers are employed in these environments, and must inhale ETS as a condition of earning a living.
AzPHA has long been on record as supporting smokefree workplaces (Resolution 93-1, Smokefree Campus). Some Arizona communities have enacted ordinances extending smokefree workplaces to include restaurants and bars. Currently, Flagstaff, Tempe and Guadalupe are completely smokefree. All of Coconino County has smokefree restaurants, but bars outside of Flagstaff may allow smoking.
As other communities, and the state as a whole, debate such legislation, one argument frequently made against protecting workers from ETS is that to do so would cost businesses and city governments money, as smokers take their business elsewhere. There is no better counter to this than for those who value the protection of workers and patrons to deliberately give their business to cities that have smokefree ordinances in place.
As an organization dedicated to public health, and one which holds two major meetings each year, it is incumbent upon AzPHA to lead by example. It is time to put our money where our mouth is.
AzPHA should only hold its Annual Fall and Spring Meetings in cities that have already enacted smokefree ordinances.
2. Statement of Desired Action
AzPHA will schedule its Annual Fall Meeting and its Spring Educational Meeting only in cities that have enacted smokefree ordinances that protect all workers, including those in restaurants and bars. AzPHA will not schedule any large membership meeting in a city that has not done so.
3. Which other groups or organizations support this effort?
AzPHA was solicited to take this action by Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights. Other organizations that have adopted this resolution include: the American Public Health Association (APHA); the National Cancer Institute, Tobacco Control Research Branch; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Office on Smoking and Health; the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Tobacco Policy Change Program; the Colorado Public Health Association; and the National Conference on Tobacco or Health.
4. Describe relationship of this issue to the current AzPHA Legislative Priorities.
Support for a Healthy Environment is one of the three main legislative priorities. In particular, tobacco control is one of only two areas specifically mentioned within this priority.
5. Is this an issue for legislation?
No, but this supports proposed local and statewide campaigns to legislate smokefree workplaces.
6. Brief Financial and Public Health Analysis. Initially, adoption of this resolution will limit AzPHA to a choice of only a few cities within Arizona as potential sites for its Annual Fall and Spring Meetings. Currently, Flagstaff, Tempe and Guadalupe are completely smokefree. All of Coconino County has smokefree restaurants, but bars outside of Flagstaff may allow smoking.
PROPOSED AZPHA RESOLUTION
Hold AzPHA Meetings only in Cities with Smokefree Workplace Ordinances September 2005
Whereas, environmental tobacco smoke is a significant health hazard that no employee should be subject to as a condition of employment; and
Whereas, workers in restaurants and bars are no less entitled than other workers to health and safety protections; and
Whereas, some communities have passed smokefree workplace ordinances that do include restaurants and bars; and
Whereas, opponents of such ordinances cite loss of business as a rationale for opposing smokefree restaurants and bars; and
Whereas, supporters of smokefree work environments can counter this argument by taking their business to cities that have enacted smokefree workplace ordinances to include restaurants and bars; and
Whereas, the Arizona Public Health Association has long supported environmental protections, worker health and safety, and tobacco control; and
Whereas, the Arizona Public Health Association holds two large meetings each year at which it expends funds on behalf of the organization and causes individual members to expend their own funds in the city where the meeting is held;
Therefore Be It Resolved that the Arizona Public Health Association will schedule future membership meetings, including the Annual Fall Meeting and Spring Educational Meeting, only in cities that prohibit smoking in workplaces, including restaurants and bars. This resolution will become effective with the 2006 Annual Fall Meeting.