Friday, July 07, 2006

General Assembly Becomes Smoke Free

The General Assembly will soon be smoke-free. The House approved a bill (HB 1133) on Friday to prohibit smoking in all parts of the North Carolina legislative buildings, even though the House and Senate chambers have been smoke-free for several years. Supporters of the bill say it is important for lawmakers to set an example for the tens of thousands of visitors, many of them students, who frequent the legislature each year or serve as pages. Earlier this week, the surgeon general released a report citing “overwhelming scientific evidence” that involuntary smoking causes heart disease, lung cancer and a list of other illnesses. The analysis also named additional health risks for children. Despite the fact that North Carolina is the nation’s largest tobacco-producing state, House members approved the smoking ban 95-14.

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