Groups that oppose smoke-free law are Alting’s top donors in last two elections

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Claiming it raises questions about his opposition to a smoke-free law that includes bars, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids today released data from the National Institute on Money in State Politics showing that over the last two election cycles, State Senator Ron Alting (R-Lafayette) has taken more political contributions from businesses involved in the sale and distribution of beer, wine and liquor than from any other industry.

Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids logoAlting is currently trying to prevent bars from being covered under a proposed smoke-free law. Alcohol-related industries, along with tobacco companies, have been a chief opponent of efforts to pass a smoke-free law in Indiana. According to the National Institute on Money in State Politics, alcohol-related interests have given Senator Alting at least $26,700, including at least $14,500 in the last two election cycles alone. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids claims that a full examination of uncoded donations would likely reveal even more contributions from the beer, wine, and liquor industries.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is calling on Alting to introduce amendments to strengthen the smoke-free law to protect all Indiana workers, including those who work in bars.

“These contributions are very alarming and should make people question why Senator Alting is trying to stop customers and workers in bars from being covered under a smoke-free law,” said Kevin O’Flaherty, Regional Advocacy Director, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “Campaign contributors should not get in the way of protecting workers and customers across Indiana from the lung cancer, heart disease, and other serious illnesses caused by secondhand smoke.”

To date, 29 states across the country have passed comprehensive smoke-free laws that include restaurants and bars. According to the group, about 1,200 Hoosiers die each year from exposure to secondhand smoke.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids says the need for protection from secondhand smoke in all workplaces and public places has never been clearer. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including at least 69 carcinogens. The U.S. Surgeon General has found that secondhand smoke causes lung cancer, heart disease, serious respiratory illnesses, low birth weight and sudden infant death syndrome. The Surgeon General has also found that secondhand smoke causes tens of thousands of deaths in the U.S. each year, there is no safe level of exposure, and only smoke-free laws provide effective protection from secondhand smoke.

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One Response to “Groups that oppose smoke-free law are Alting’s top donors in last two elections”

  1. Bob says:

    Why are all these kids hanging out at bars where you’re supposed to be 21.

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