Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

May 30, 2012


Host: Ted Simons

Smoke-Free Arizona Act


  • In 2006, Arizona voters passed an initiative that prohibits smoking in most public places. We take a look at the impact of the Smoke-Free Arizona Act five years after it went into effect. Guests include Bill Pfeiffer, President and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Southwest and Harmony Duport who is responsible for enforcing the Act for the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Guests:
  • Bill Pfeiffer - President, CEO, American Lung Association of the Southwest
  • Harmony Duport - Arizona Department of Health Services
Category: Law   |   Keywords: medical, health, smoking, free, act, ,

View Transcript
TOMORROW IS WORLD NO TOBACCO DAY. TOMORROW IS ALSO THE FIVE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE SMOKE-FREE ARIZONA ACT, A MEASURE PASSED BY VOTERS THAT BANS SMOKING IN MOST ENCLOSED PUBLIC PLACES. HERE TO TALK ABOUT THE ARIZONA LAW AND EFFORTS TO FURTHER CURB SMOKING IS HARMONY DUPORT WHO OVERSEES SMOKE-FREE ARIZONA AS HEAD OF THE OFFICE OF INSPECTION AND COMPLIANCE FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE SERVICES AND BILL PFEIFER, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION OF THE SOUTHWEST. GOOD TO HAVE YOU BOTH HERE, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

>>>> GREAT TO BE HERE.

>>>> THANK YOU.

>>>> WHAT EXACTLY DOES THIS LAW SAY?

>>>> WANT TO GO AHEAD WITH THAT ONE?

>>>> HELPED TO WRITE THE LAW SO, YES.

>>>> PLEASE DO.

>>>> FIRST OF ALL, YOU STATED IT. PROHIBITS SMOKING IN ALL ENCLOSED PUBLIC PLACES AND WORK PLACES INCLUDING ALL RESTAURANTS AND BARS. IT'S KIND OF FUNNY BECAUSE WE THINK ABOUT IT AND IT'S BEEN FIVE YEARS AGO. AS WE TALK TO PEOPLE IN PUBLIC, THEY SAY, GOSH, I CAN'T REMEMBER THE DAY WHEN PEOPLE COULD SMOKE IN A RESTAURANT OR BAR OR IN A WORKPLACE IN ARIZONA. IT'S ALMOST FOREIGN NOW.

>>>> WHAT GOT THIS WHOLE MOVEMENT STARTED?

>>>> WELL IT GOES WAY BACK, IT GOES BACK TO THE EARLY SURGEON GENERALS' REPORTS IN THE EARLY 60'S THAT SAYS, HEY, THERE'S A LINK BETWEEN SECONDHAND SMOKE AND THE HEALTH OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC. THAT'S WHAT REALLY GOT IT STARTED AND WE EVEN GO BACK TO THE EARLY 80'S, BACK WHEN YOU COULD STILL SMOKE ON AN AIRPLANE, NOW, WE NEVER EVEN THINK ABOUT SMOKING ON AN AIRPLANE.

>>>> IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY, LOFTS CITIES AROUND THE STATE WERE ENACTING SMOKING BANS. THE CONCERN WAS BUSINESSES MIGHT CROSS THE LINE OR IT WOULDN'T BE EQUITABLE AND THAT SORT OF THING. THAT WAS A FACTOR, TOO, WASN'T IT?

>>>> IT WAS, DEFINITELY. THERE WAS AN ECONOMIC IMPACT STUDY DONE AFTER THE LAW WENT INTO EFFECT, THOUGH AND SHOWED THERE WAS NO REAL NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON BUSINESSES AFTER THE LAW WAS PASSED STATEWIDE.

>>>> I WAS GOING TO SAY, I SAW A RECENT STUDY THAT 70% OF BUSINESS OWNERS ACTUALLY NOW APPRECIATE THE LAWS.

>>>> YOU KNOW. THAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE. WE KNEW THAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN, BECAUSE WE SAW THAT IN OTHER STATES THAT DID PASS COMPREHENSIVE LAWS IS THAT THE GENERAL PUBLIC WOULD ACCEPT IT. THE BUSINESSES WOULD ACCEPT IT. THERE WOULDN'T BE A NEGATIVE IMPACT ON A BUSINESS. AND THERE WOULD BE SUCH A POSITIVE IMPACT ON PUBLIC HEALTH IN THE STATE.

>>>> THE IMPACT ON PUBLIC HEALTH OF THE STATE, DO WE HAVE ANY METRICS? ANY IDEAS HERE?

>>>> YEAH, THERE WAS. ACTUALLY, SHORTLY AFTER THE LAW WENT INTO EFFECT, TWO RESEARCHERS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA DID A PUBLIC HEALTH STUDY AND REALLY FROM THE PERIOD OF MAY 2007 TO MAY 2008, ABOUT A 12-13-MONTH PERIOD, THEY STUDIED HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS AND REALLY WHAT THEY FOUND WAS THAT HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS AS A RESULT OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE, ASTHMA AND ANGINA ALL DECREASED AND THEY ATTRIBUTED THAT TO THE SMOKE-FREE ARIZONA LAW GOING INTO EFFECT. MORE IMPORTANTLY WAS THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THOSE REDUCED HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS, 16.8 MILLION DOLLARS THEY ESTIMATE WERE SAVED IN THAT 13-MONTH PERIOD.

>>>> NOW, AS FAR AS THE LAW IS CONCERNED AND COMPLAINTS REGISTERED, WHAT DID YOU SEE WHEN THE LAW FIRST PASSED? HOW MANY COMPLAINTS ARE YOU SEEING NOW?

>>>> WELL, THE FIRST MONTH AFTER THE LAW WENT INTO EFFECT IN MAY 2007, WE RECEIVED AROUND 1,500 COMPLAINTS THAT FIRST MONTH. NOW, ANNUALLY, WE'RE RECEIVING AROUND 1,500 COMPLAINTS SO COMPLAINT NUMBERS HAVE DROPPED SIGNIFICANTLY STATEWIDE.

>>>> WHAT ARE MOST OF THOSE COMPLAINTS? WHAT DO YOU HEAR MOST OFTEN?

>>>> MOST COMPLAINTS THAT COME IN ARE REGARDING PEOPLE SMOKING TOO CLOSE TO THE ENTRANCES SO SMOKING WITHIN 20 FEET OF AN ENTRANCE OR HAVING AN ASHTRAY THAT'S PLACED WITHIN 20 FEET OF AN ENTRANCE. SMOKING AND ASH TRAYS HAVE TO BE MORE THAN 20 FEET AWAY FROM ENTRANCES.

>>>> INTERESTING. UM, WHEN INSPECTORS GO OUT TO THESE ESTABLISHMENTS, WHAT ARE THEY LOOKING FOR? I GUESS THEY'RE LOOKING FOR ASH TRAYS CLOSER THAN 20 FEET BUT WHAT ELSE ARE THEY LOOKING FOR?

>>>> THEY'RE LOOKING FOR THAT. ALSO THEY'RE LOOKING AT BUSINESSES ARE SIGNED APPROPRIATELY. EVERY BUSINESS HAS TO HAVE A SIGN THAT NOTIFIES THE PUBLIC THAT SMOKING IS NOT ALLOWED WITHIN 20 FEET OF THE ENTRANCE AND NOT ALLOWED INSIDE THE ESTABLISHMENT. THEY'RE LOOKING AT THAT. THEY'RE LOOKING LIKE YOU HAD MENTIONED AT ASH TRAYS TO MAKE SURE THEY'RE PLACED APPROPRIATELY AND OF COURSE, MAKING SURE PEOPLE AREN'T SMOKING WHERE PROHIBITED WHETHER IT'S INSIDE OR OUTSIDE OR WITHIN 20 FEET OF ENTRANCES AS WELL.

>>>> YOU'RE SAYING 1,500 PER YEAR NOW? IN TERMS OF COMPLAINTS?

>>>> PER YEAR NOW, RIGHTS.

>>>> ARE THERE ANY REPEAT OFFENDERS OR JUST THOSE THAT DON'T GET THE MESSAGE?

>>>> I WOULD SAY GENERALLY WE HAVE EXCELLENT COMPLIANCE. MOST PROPRIETORS ARE WILLING TO COMPLY. IT'S JUST A MATTER OF US GOING OUT THERE TALKING WITH THEM, EDUCATING THEM ABOUT THE LAW. THEY'RE MORE THAN HAPPY TO COMPLY IN SOME CASES. THERE ARE SOME PLACES THAT WE HAVE TO WORK WITH A LITTLE BIT LONGER BEFORE WE GET THE COMPLIANCE, BUT IT DOES HAPPEN.

>>>> AND, TED, MY HAT GOES OFF TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES AND ACTUALLY YOUR PREVIOUS GUEST, WILL HUMBLE. WILL WASN'T THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT BUT WHEN THIS LAW WAS PASSED, HE WAS THE ONE THAT WAS IN CHARGE OF HELPING TO WRITE THE LAWS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF SMOKE-FREE ARIZONA. HE REALLY CAME AT FROM THAT PERSPECTIVE. I CREDIT HIM. HE SAYS THIS ISN'T ABOUT FINING PEOPLE OR BUSINESSES, THIS IS JUST ABOUT GETTING PEOPLE TO COMPLY WITH THE LAW. THAT'S OUR OBJECTIVE IS COMPLIANCE. THAT'S BEEN REALLY THEIR APPROACH THIS WHOLE TIME.

>>>> WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THOSE WHO SAY THE RIGHTS OF SMOKERS ARE BEING TRAMPLED HERE? THAT THEY'RE NOT CONVINCED THAT SECONDHAND SMOKE IS DANGEROUS. THEY'RE NOT CONVINCED TOBACCO IS EVEN AT THE ROOT OF PREVENTABLE DISEASES AND THEY'RE SAYING WHY ARE YOU PICKING ON US? WHY ARE YOU -- YOU'RE STILL HEARING THIS, I'M SURE?

>>>> IT'S STILL VERY COMMON. THE REAL BOTTOM SHRINE THE SCIENCE DIDN'T SUPPORT THE STATEMENT. THE SCIENCE IS REALLY VERY CLEAR. NOT ONLY DOES CIGARETTE SMOKING HARM THE SMOKERS BUT IT HARMS THOSE THAT ARE BREATHING IT IN SECONDHAND.

>>>> FOR THOSE WATCHING AND SAY OK, I'VE HAD ENOUGH. I'D LIKE TO QUIT, WHERE DO THEY GO? YOU'VE GOT -- THERE'S A SPECIAL ASH LINE? WHAT'S THAT ALL ABOUT?

>>>> ASH LINE IS WHERE WE REFER CALLERS TO. WE HAVE THE SMOKE-FREE ARIZONA HOTLINE WHERE WE'LL TAKE IN COMPLAINTS OR ANSWER INQUIRIES ABOUT THE LAW BUT WE'LL REFER ANYONE WHO IS INTERESTED ABOUT SMOKING AND CESSATION TO CALL ASH LINE. THERE ARE COACHES THERE THAT WILL HELP PEOPLE QUIT. THEY PROVIDE A LOT OF INFORMATION THAT HELPS THEM TO DO THAT.

>>>> SOMETHING CALLED THE TRUST COMMIT? WHAT'S THAT ALL ABOUT?

>>>> WELL, I NOW CHAIR THE TRUST COMMISSION BUT THE TRUST COMMISSION WAS REALLY PART OF THE ARIZONA TOBACCO TAX THAT WAS SET UP. IT'S REALLY A COMMISSION OF JUST PEOPLE WHO HAVE INTERESTS AND KNOWLEDGE IN THE AREA OF TOBACCO CONTROL AND PREVENTION. THIS JOB IS REALLY ADVISORY. IT'S THE ADVISORY TO WILL HUMBLE ON TOBACCO ISSUES. MEETS EVERY MONTH OR SO AND REFERS TO ISSUES PERTAINING TO TOBACCO.

>>>> THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE. WE APPRECIATE IT.

>>>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.

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