R 108
2015 -- H 5804
Enacted 03/05/2015

H O U S E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Representatives Handy, Ackerman, McNamara, Tobon, and Ruggiero
Date Introduced: March 05, 2015

     WHEREAS, The use of cigarettes and other tobacco products remains the nation's and
Rhode Island's number one cause of preventable death and disease. Smoking kills more than
sixteen hundred Rhode Island residents annually, more than all the deaths caused by alcohol,
AIDS, car crashes, illegal drugs, murder, and suicides combined; and
     WHEREAS, Cigarette smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, 69 of which are known to
cause cancer, and secondhand smoke involuntarily inhaled by nonsmokers from other people's
cigarettes is classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a known human (Group
A) carcinogen; and
     WHEREAS, According to the American Lung Association, secondhand smoke is
responsible for approximately 3,400 lung cancer deaths and 46,000 (ranging 22,700-69,600) heart
disease deaths in adult nonsmokers annually in the United States; and
     WHEREAS, Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at work are at increased risk for
adverse health effects. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, levels
of secondhand smoke in restaurants and bars were found to be 2 to 5 times higher than in
residences with smokers and 2 to 6 times higher than in office workplaces; and
     WHEREAS, Ten years ago Rhode Island chose health by enacting the 2004 Public
Health and Workplace Safety Act, banning indoor smoking in bars, restaurants, offices, factories
and nearly every workplace in the state, encompassing industries where a disproportionate
percentage of this priority population is likely to work; and
     WHEREAS, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that "studies have
shown that smoke-free laws that prohibit smoking in public places like bars and restaurants help
improve the health of workers and the general population"; and
     WHEREAS, A decade of smoke-free workplaces and public places, together with a high
state tax on cigarettes and support for smokers to quit, has delivered significant health benefits for
Rhode Islanders, helping to reduce the adult smoking rate from 23% in 2001 to 17.4% in 2013,
and the youth smoking rate from 35% in 2001 to 8.1% in 2013, the second lowest in the nation;
     WHEREAS, A 2012 study from the Rhode Island Department of Health showed that
hospitalization rates in Rhode Island for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), commonly known as
heart attack, dropped 28.4% since 2005, representing a potential savings to the State of over $6
million; and
     WHEREAS, Rhode Island helped lead the way nationwide by becoming only the seventh
state to ban indoor smoking in workplaces and public places in 2004, with 18 other states
following suit in the following four years, and 30 states now legally designating smoke-free
indoor areas; now, therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and
Providence Plantations hereby proclaims March 5, 2015 to be "Smoke Free 10 Day" in the State
of Rhode Island, honoring the tenth anniversary of the enactment of the 2004-2005 Public Health
and Workplace Safety Act; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to the Director of the Rhode Island Department of