Why Smokefree Workplaces Are Essential

Secondhand smoke contains thousands of chemicals, and many of them are known to cause cancer and other serious diseases. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Yet, despite the risks, many workplaces — especially restaurants and bars — expose employees to toxic air for prolonged periods of time.

There's No Effective Alternative To Smokefree Air

Separating smokers from nonsmokers, using fans, or installing high-tech ventilation and filtration equipment does not eliminate the health risks of secondhand smoke. These approaches are simply not effective. That’s not our opinion. It’s a fact that’s supported by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

Even brief exposure to secondhand smoke is harmful, with immediate adverse effects. The prolonged exposure experienced by many restaurant and bar employees presents even greater risks.

Customers are at risk, as well. Secondhand smoke is known to aggravate asthma attacks in children. An estimated 68,000 children in Mississippi have asthma. As a result, thousands of families cannot dine in restaurants where smoking is allowed.

Widespread Support for a Comprehensive Statewide Policy

A comprehensive statewide policy levels the playing field for all businesses, as compared to the assorted nonsmoking laws currently in place in various communities. And it acknowledges the fact that all Mississippians, regardless of their location or profession, deserve to breathe smokefree air.

Mississippians overwhelmingly support the idea of smokefree workplaces.

  • 80% of Mississippians don’t smoke.
  • 76% of Mississippians believe that worksites should be smokefree.
  • 81% of all Mississippians believe restaurants should be smokefree.
  • 57% of Mississippi smokers support everybody’s right to breathe smokefree air in restaurants.