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Survey: Majority want smoke-free workplace

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kandace Brown
According to a recent survey, nearly seven out of 10 of adults in Clay County are in favor of supporting a comprehensive smoke-free workplace law that would eliminate secondhand smoke in all workplaces, including bars and restaurants.

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.

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There are so many things wrong with this story, it's hard to know where to begin. That being the case, let's establish the population of Clay County. According to census, Clay County Indiana boasts a population of 26,556 citizens. Now then, let's throw some truth against the reporting of the "Brazil Times" and see how they react, eh?

The "Brazil Times" suggest that seven out of ten people in the county support a "no smoking measure". Foolishly, they detail having asked 607 people, of which 418 affirmed the measure of prohibiting smoking in businesses.

What the "Brazil Times" doesn't tell you is that the measure of people polled represents only 2% of the county, not to mention how the poll was taken and weighed.

Seriously, "Brazil Times", if you are going to lie to everyone, try not to do it under the guise of "journalism". There are those that actually earned such a title.

As for Kandace Brown? I wouldn't be counting on any kind of political career. Anyone who is going to stand behind such a bald faced lie that is easily disproved, doesn't have much of a future. Keep those typing skills up, dear.


-- Posted by Scrubboy on Tue, Oct 12, 2010, at 6:08 PM

Dude why are you so angry about this? We should have smoke free places of employment. Either you are a smoker or you run one of the bars in town. Why should everyone be forced to breath your smoke??????

-- Posted by JimJim69 on Tue, Oct 12, 2010, at 9:06 PM

Johnny, I think that Scrubby is talking about the accuracy of the "data" or the lack of presented in the article.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Tue, Oct 12, 2010, at 9:34 PM

nobody is forced to breath anyones smoke. This is clay county,brazil indiana not New York or some other high class stuffed shirt look how great i am city, were most people don't know there butt from a hole in the ground. And yes i am a smoker and the smoking will continue were i work no matter what the law says. i can't understand how all these people on here can think this is a good thing. Thanks Clay County for trying to take away another right. WHAT A BUNCH OF HYPOCRITES. Sounds like they my be democrats. No wonder there symbol is the Jackass

-- Posted by Thorn44 on Wed, Oct 13, 2010, at 12:07 AM

I am a smoker, and I still support banning it in public and work places. Perhaps The Times did have a lack of data, but there is no lack of data about the dangers of cigarette smoke.

Someone mentioned they had a "right" to smoke. That is far from accurate. I admit I have an addiction, but that doesn't give me a right to force the dangerous and nasty effects of that addiction on everyone around me.

Let's keep our cigarettes at home or in our cars.

-- Posted by Oldtown on Wed, Oct 13, 2010, at 2:05 AM

I don't smoke and I hate being around smoke. But what I hate even more is government telling me what is best for me. They can try to criminalize tobacco but I can go to a doctor and get pain killers (in some places marijuana)and walk around doped up all day.

-- Posted by no1special on Wed, Oct 13, 2010, at 7:33 AM

The only reason that only 607 people responded is because not all knew about the poll I'll wager. People are calling our house all the time polling for our opinion. Sometimes we are not home. Sometimes we are not on their contact base etc etc. Had I been home for that one, there would have been 419 against smoking.

Do you really think that pollsters picked out the non smokers to get this ratio?

Smoking is an addiction to nicotine and those who have to breathe second hand smoke suffer same side effects of breathing in the tars but only at slightly lower level. The heart disease and lung disease is higher in spouses of people who smoke than others in same gene pool.

Thorn44: I don't understand your comparison to New York at all. Where does NY enter in this? If anything this poll proves that in some areas we are pretty much the same nationwide and the majority want cleaner air for their loved ones and themselves. The families here and the families in New York [where there are millions of workers at all levels in the workplace JUST like here in IN from farmers to teachers. Just a whole lot more of both due to population density in a few of its cities AND because I believe NY is larger than IN and the farmers have smaller amounts of acreage due to different crops grown and terrain.]

Besides all this I DO vote with my feet. There are several establishments in town and I have eaten at them ONCE. When I find that the places reek of smoke, I cross them off my list. There is nothing like cigarette smoke to kill your appetite....and nothing like bending over a child in school and realizing that they smell like yesterday's ash tray. Makes one wonder what smokers in their houses have done to their insides if their outsides smell so bad. People in jobs where others smoke can't decide with their feet if they need the income. Their employers are making them work under unhealthy conditions.

Nicotine addiction is a lot harder to kick than alcohol. Maybe why so many AA meetings have that haze of smoke over them?...So easy to spot. Alcoholics in recovery many times still die young if they also have that nicotine addiction that causes heart and lung disease.

While I have empathy for their struggle as I have witnessed it in my own family, it doesn't make me want to have to endure the same damage to myself or my loved ones.

This is a health issue, period. Yes certain politicians might be for or against it but it's been proven over and over that 2nd hand smoke causes harm just like abortion ends a life. If you want to continue to slowly kill yourselves, you are already raising my health insurance rates as well as your own due to the health problems affiliated with smoking. Don't think that you have any "right" to infringe on my health as well.

Have a good day.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Wed, Oct 13, 2010, at 7:46 AM

Thorn44...go back to watching Fox News (not so "Fair and Balanced") as you sound like the typical viewer of theirs, blaming everything on the democrats. I could elaborate where the opposite is true, but I don't want to hijack this topic.

I agree that the Times needs to be careful in the words they select, it should have read something to the effect of..."of those who participated in the survey, 70% were in favor of"...

It always amazes me that we have a small but vocal side that always wants to reinvent the wheel here in Brazil. A non-smoking ordinance has already been passed and lived with in many cities and towns across Indiana and the country for years, and yet we still have people in our community who think that somehow we should be different from the rest.

-- Posted by ClayCountyGuy on Wed, Oct 13, 2010, at 7:51 AM

no1special:...and when the smokers were in the majority, others in workplace had to suffer from it. Now since it's come out how harmful smoking is, the shift has been made and there are more non smokers. Majority rules.

Did you know that a pregnant woman who is subjected to cigarette smoke whether first of second hand, will be more likely to deliver a premature child with lower immunity? If laws aren't in place to protect both that woman AND her unborn child and she is working in a place that allows smoking, what can she do for protection?? What if she were your wife and that child were yours? You're handicapping that child before it is even born. What about its rights?

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Wed, Oct 13, 2010, at 7:52 AM

Seems to be a one-sided debate. What gives anyone the right to take away from one (THE SMOKERS) to please the other (THE NON-SMOKERS). If non-smokers don't want to be around smoke than make a room or something to give to the smokers. This way NO ONES RIGHTS ARE BEING INFRINGED ON!

-- Posted by Innocent on Wed, Oct 13, 2010, at 8:26 AM

I disagree with many of the "facts" stated in the article and in these comments. Just because a certain group keeps banging the drum that this or that is harmful doesn't mean it's true. The statement that there is "no safe level of exposure to second hand smoke" is in itself a reversal of regulatory behavior by the government. Pull almost any material safety data sheet (MSDS) off the wall at any place of business or look in a NIOSH and it will list a safe or permissible exposure level for almost any compound known. There is even a published exposure limit to VX nerve agent! Reference: http://www.ilpi.com/msds/vx.html Section V - Health Hazard Data. How can they publish data like this about cigarette smoke and then in the next breath (pun intended) have the Army deem a substance that kills in 15 minutes to have a time weighted average exposure for workers in a 40 hour work week? There are too many examples to list here. This is not an observation of this one topic but so many issues up for debate in almost any forum.

Also any survey coming from Indiana's most liberal den, Indiana University / Bloomington is at best suspicious to me when it is such a small sampling of the population. There was no margin of error published. There was no timeline published for when the survey was conducted. Was it conducted on a holiday when most are away from home? Was it conducted at 9 AM when the workers are at work and just the stay at home moms are home? No offense to stay at home moms, I just think that they are most likely to say no to smoking based on their instinct to protect and care for their children, which is a good thing!

At any rate we have all kinds of laws that tell us how to live, raise our children and procure medical care so this is no shocker to me.

If you don't want to work around smoke, look for a job elsewhere. If you don't want to eat around it eat elsewhere. If you don't like my guns wear ear plugs and don't ask for my defense of your rights, life or property when the feces hits the rotating ventilator! (sorry had to get that rant in there :)

All in all, keep the government out of my life and don't ram it down my throat! I have a mind and the ability to make decisions for myself and deal with the results of those decisions. Don't be a sheep be a wolf. Have a good day all. Nuff said.

-- Posted by michael.galloway1 on Wed, Oct 13, 2010, at 10:06 AM

It's absolutely hilarious to watch people make comments about protecting people from government. They boast freedom and democracy, yet scoff when they think it will infringe on their self-proclaimed rights.

Non-smokers do not want to be forced to breath cigarette smoke. They get to vote, it is passing, and that is how democracy works.

If you want the freedom to smoke in public places, then lobby for it, the same as non-smokers have. If you have the votes, you will get your way. Be warned though, you have an uphill battle. It is hard to argue in favor of freedom, when it infringes on the safety of everyone around you.

-- Posted by Oldtown on Wed, Oct 13, 2010, at 11:22 AM

I'm a different kind of smoker. I like to smoke, but I don't like inside smoking. Anywhere .. even in a bar. I don't like the way my clothes and hair smell after being exposed to inside smoking - so, as a smoker, I choose not to frequent those places.

I believe (as smokers) we can still enjoy going to smoke-free bars and restaurants. If smokers feel infringed upon by now smoke-free places - welcome to the land of the non-smoker for the past 50 years - at work, home, on a plane and at play! We had it our way for 50 years, time to let the others have it their way for the next 50. ; )

We go 6-8 hours at night without a cigarette, so why can't we go an hour or 2 without one when we're eating or drinking? We can and it won't kill us (no pun intended).

I look at it like this: As a smoker it IS my right to smoke. It ISN'T my right to knowingly infect my children (or others) to secondhand smoke or MY addiction.

One last thing .. as a smoker, I can say that while I didn't smoke throughout my entire pregnancy, I did smoke during the first & second trimester. My boys are both non-smokers, over 6' tall and rarely sick. The reason for this, IMO, is because I did not (an do not) smoke inside my home.

-- Posted by Emmes on Wed, Oct 13, 2010, at 12:21 PM

Good post, Emmes.

My wife and I have always smoked out in the garage. As a smoker, I have always been embarrassed by it, so I refrain from doing it in the house to prevent the smell from building up inside.

I was in the hospital for a few days, once. I asked my wife to bring me some clothes, but wash them and put them in a plastic bag afterwards. I figured it might prevent the smell from getting on my clothes after she washed them. When she brought them to me, even the bag stunk like stale smoke.

It is just a nasty and unhealthy addiction that we all should not do, leave alone in public.

-- Posted by Oldtown on Wed, Oct 13, 2010, at 12:32 PM

Jenny Moore, is there a subject you dont put your busy body nose in? you have more sides than a golf ball. Get real suedo "intellectual". crap all crap. you will probably tell me to get enlightened or something. I have a ton of experience you dont get from reading at the library. the kind most of you couldnt stomach in countries that once tried what this country is trying. WAKE


-- Posted by wtfizdat on Wed, Oct 13, 2010, at 10:51 PM

I think a law prohibiting smoking in all public places is long overdue. Any other behavior that adversely affects the health of so many people to the degree that smoking does would not be tolerated. A lot of smokers cry out that their rights are being taken away; I think that argument is ridiculous. You would still be allowed to smoke, just not in an area where it will harm others. People have several rights that are restricted in order to protect others- speeding laws protect people on the roads as do drunk driving laws; you have a right to own and shoot a firearm, just not in a manner that jeopardizes the safety of others; you're allowed to play your radio but if it's so loud at one in the morning that your neighbor can't sleep, then you have to turn in down; and the list goes on.

Alcohol is a legal substance but would we ever tolerate alcoholics taking drinking breaks throughout the day while at work? I doubt it. It is mind boggling that anyone would think that they should have the right to expose others to their smoke when there are volumes of evidence showing that it is deadly. Asthmatics and others with breathing difficulties shouldn't have to run the risk of getting sick when they enter a business because somebody inside or standing out by the door is smoking.

-- Posted by snow on Wed, Oct 13, 2010, at 11:19 PM

Snow I think you made the best point yet except it doesn't support my position! LOL!

-- Posted by michael.galloway1 on Thu, Oct 14, 2010, at 9:46 AM

Thanks Michael, I'd imagine that we probably have a lot more views in common than not.

-- Posted by snow on Thu, Oct 14, 2010, at 4:15 PM

There are many valid points on both sides of this topic. Bravo to those keeping it civil. My question is: shouldn't the person that owns the building or business be aloud to make that decision? Auto fatalities far exceed the number of second hand smoke fatalities, and 37% of those are alcohol related, should we outlaw alcohol in restaurants, bars and other public places? Or just outlaw automobiles in general? Did you know that a pregnant woman who is subjected to automobile rides whether driver or passenger, will be more likely to be in a car crash than one that doesn't travel in automobiles? Obviously that is an extreme.(sorry Jenny for picking on your response.) However I do feel strongly that we as adults should be allowed to make choices. If you don't want to go to a place because it smells of smoke, don't go! Every time another law is handed down from the powers that be, our so-called freedom shrinks. O by the way....(pause for dramatic effect) I am a smoker in the middle of the battle to kick the filthy habit.

-- Posted by carnie0069 on Fri, Oct 15, 2010, at 4:21 PM

I forgot to mention the roughly 112,000 obesity related deaths every year. McDonald's, YOU'RE NEXT!!!

-- Posted by carnie0069 on Fri, Oct 15, 2010, at 4:46 PM


The number of people killed by second hand smoke is a lot harder to define than those killed by drunk drivers. Second hand smoke contributes to so many illnesses that eventually lead to death that hard numbers aren't easy to come by. However, the American Lung Association's statistics show that approximately 53,000 people die each year due to diseases caused by second hand smoke. Other health organizations list the death rate for second hand smoke up to 65,000 a year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recorded 37,423 deaths due to traffic crashes in 2008 (the latest data I found), and a little over 41,000 in 2007. So the statistics show that more people are dying each year from second hand smoke than from traffic crashes and as you mentioned the number of those killed in drunk driving crashes is about 37 percent of the total. The crash numbers are terrifying, but they pale in comparison to those killed by second hand smoke.

Over 54,000 people were killed in traffic accidents in 1972, so as you can see, there is a downward trend in the number of people killed in traffic accidents over the years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated that they believe that this downward trend is due to increased safety equipment and drunk driving prevention education and enforcement. I'm not sure if I'm mudding up the water here, but I think that this shows that when safety laws are put in place, the death rate drops. Look what happened when seat belt laws came into effect-fewer people died. Drunk driving laws are now enforced more strictly and the legal limit for intoxication has been lowered and now fewer people are dying in alcohol related crashes. The legislation works and I don't see why this wouldn't hold true if laws disallowing smoking in public were passed.

As far as the McDonalds argument goes, at least people have a choice when they decide to eat food that isn't healthy for them. I don't think anybody should have the right to, in effect, poison people with the chemicals in second hand smoke. Driving is much the same, people know when they drive that there are risks, but there are laws that people have to follow that mitigate those risks--drivers can't go as fast as they want and they must drive in a prescribed manner. People who don't obey the driving laws get tickets and can even go to jail. I partially agree with your argument about people not going to restaurants where smoking is allowed, but what about the workers that are employed there or in other businesses where smoking is allowed. The employees shouldn't have to die to make a living and sometimes it's not that easy to find another job. I also wish you good luck in your efforts to stop smoking; I know how hard it can be. I only smoked for about a year, around the time I turned 21. I stopped about 23 years ago and it was difficult, but worth it.

-- Posted by snow on Sat, Oct 16, 2010, at 12:18 AM

I'm enjoying your posts more and more, SNOW. Very well said. Thank you!

-- Posted by Emmes on Tue, Oct 19, 2010, at 12:12 PM

I think I have been on both sides of this issue. I smoked for 10 years, and now I have been smoke-free for over 10 years now. I don't think the issue is about the harm that smoking, or second-hand smoke causes. I think the issue is really about letting people correct the problem for themselves. I would like to use the following example: I have a favorite restaurant that I frequent quite often. Smoking is allowed in this restaurant, and it bothers me a lot. I have to weigh, all by myself, the factors involved in the decision to keeping eating at this restaurant, and put up with the smoke, voice my opinion to the management and lobby for a non-smoking room, or go eat at a competitive restaurant. I don't have the right to clean air, I don't have the right to my favorite cheeseburger, which will probably kill me faster anyway, but I do have the right to make my own decisions. If someone is smoking next to me, I have the right to leave. Now, if there is no competitive alternative, (i.e. BMV, Post Office), then I fully support the limiting of smoking in those facilities. The next thing which should be fought is the right to bring outside food and drink into the movie theater! Don't I have a right to healthy snacks at reasonable prices??

-- Posted by almostfootballfree on Tue, Oct 19, 2010, at 12:39 PM

Emmes- Thank you for your kind words, I enjoy reading your posts as well. It's nice to read intelligent posts that are well thought out.

-- Posted by snow on Wed, Oct 20, 2010, at 4:07 PM

Its time Indiana bans smoking, period.

-- Posted by reddevil on Wed, Oct 20, 2010, at 7:44 PM

It's common sense Just get it done

-- Posted by 1dogbob on Fri, Oct 22, 2010, at 9:33 AM

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