Newsroom > DHHS News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 21, 2009

CONTACT
Marla Augustine, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047 or marla.augustine@dhhs.ne.gov

 

Nebraska Becomes Smoke-Free on June 1

Lincoln, NE - On June 1, Nebraska will become the 16 th state to have a state law that requires workplaces, restaurants and bars to be 100% smoke-free. The Nebraska Smoke-Free Air Law, officially the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act, requires all indoor workspaces and public places in the state to become smoke-free.

“This law is great for the public health of all Nebraskans,” said Dr. Joann Schaefer, Nebraska’s Chief Medical Officer. “There is mounting evidence that communities and states become healthier once smoke-free laws go into effect. I believe that starting June 1, Nebraskans will enter a new era of better health and wellness.”

A recent survey conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) showed that 80% of all Nebraskans (smokers and non-smokers alike) support the Nebraska Smoke-Free Air Law, and nearly 82% of Nebraskans think having a law prohibiting smoking inside is important. Additionally, over 86% of Nebraskans agree that restaurants and bars in Nebraska will be healthier for employees and customers once the law goes into effect.

The only exceptions to the law are:

  • Up to 20 percent of hotel rooms.
  • Tobacco-only retailers defined as a “store that sells only tobacco and products directly related to tobacco. Products directly related to tobacco do not include alcohol, coffee, soft drinks, candy, groceries or gasoline.”
  • Facilities researching the health effects of smoking.
  • Private residences, except when a residence is being used as a licensed child care program.
  • Cigar bars (effective in September 2009).

Information about the new law is available at smokefree.ne.gov . DHHS has also established a toll-free information line, 1-877-633-7331 and an
e-mail address: smoke.free@dhhs.ne.gov for questions about the law.

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