The public opinion poll was released by the Indiana Rural Health Association (IRHA) recently.
The opinion data, collected and analyzed by the Indiana University Survey Research Center, found that 69 percent of Clay County adults support a law making all workplaces smoke-free. A total of 607 adults in Clay County were surveyed.
According to Jon Crooks, owner of Coach's Time Out Sports Bar and Grill, the message is clear: Clay County residents are really for all workplaces, including bars, to be smoke-free.
"This new survey data measuring support for a comprehensive smoke-free workplace law shows that people in Clay County overwhelmingly support a smoke-free law that protects all workers, just like people in the rest of Indiana," Crooks said. "We value the lives of our employees and patrons -- who are also our neighbors, friends and family -- here in Brazil and Clay County just as much as people in any of the dozen Indiana communities with a comprehensive smoke-free law or the majority of the state in the U.S. with comprehensive statewide smoke-free laws."
Kandace Brown, Director of the Clay County Tobacco Coalition said she is pleased with the progress Brazil has made going toward smoke-free environments.
"We are seeing more businesses in Brazil go smoke-free or open as smoke-free establishments," she said. "As encouraging as this trend is, the fact remains many workers in Brazil, especially those in entertainment and manufacturing, are exposed to dangerous toxins found in secondhand smoke."
The survey also found that, on average, 87 percent of Clay County adults believe workers should be protected from secondhand smoke exposure in all workplaces, with even 62 percent of current smokers in agreement.
"This data clearly shows the majority of residents in Brazil believe it is time for the city to join the smoke-free initiative and protect those whose health is risked, unnecessarily, for that much needed paycheck," Brown said.
The survey research examined public opinions about smoke-free policies in representative rural communities as part of the Indiana Collaborative for Healthier Rural Communities project spearheaded by IRHA.
"People in rural Indiana definitely support comprehensive smoke-free workplace laws because they are exactly the kind of common sense Hoosier values we find in rural Indiana," IRHA Executive Director Don Kelso said. "People shouldn't have to suffer harm caused by someone else's tobacco use.
"Rural Hoosiers just want to do their jobs and provide for their families, and they should not have to risk having their lives cut short or health jeopardized by this preventable health threat."
Secondhand smoke is proven to be a serious health risk.
In 2006, the U.S Surgeon General issued a conclusive report stating secondhand smoke causes heart disease, lung cancer and other respiratory problems.
The 2006 report stated even the most advanced state-of-the-art ventilation or filtration, smoking rooms and separation of smokers and nonsmokers cannot eliminate the health risk caused by secondhand smoke. The report also found that even brief exposure is proven to be harmful and there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.
The survey showed that half (59 percent) of Clay County adults would continue to eat out as often as they do now if all establishments were smoke-free and 27 percent said they would eat out more often and only 14 percent said they would eat out less.