Like me, some of you have been a big part of the nonsmokers’ rights movement, 44 years in the making. We are grateful for your continued support and activism. Others are new to the issue, and we welcome you as partners in the fight for everyone’s right to breathe smokefree air in workplaces, public places, and homes.
ANR and ANR Foundation work hard to save lives by eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke. We support communities, local and statewide coalitions, and a broad range of partners with the tools and resources they need to advance smokefree efforts and to fight Big Tobacco. We provide tools like model policy language, training on what to expect from opposition, campaign planning, coordination of essential resources, including education, lobbying, and implementation, to help overcome big money interference.
Progress continues: In 2019, dozens more cities enacted new or strengthened existing smokefree laws using ANR’s model ordinance language, which includes electronic smoking devices—or e-cigarettes—as a tobacco product that should not be used in smokefree environments. ANR Foundation’s Smokefree Music Cities Project has generated compelling testimonials for smokefree air from many entertainers and support from music organizations.
We continue to advocate for laws that would prevent youth initiation of e-cigarette use, such as ending the sale of menthol and other flavored products and strengthening rules around sales and advertising, and increase excise taxes that would fund prevention programs. Also, nearly 60 cities now have local laws for smokefree air in all multi-unit housing such as apartments and condominiums.
Gaps persist: We need to bridge the gaps in smokefree protections for all—from a casino worker in Las Vegas, to an elderly couple in an apartment building in Indiana, from a musician in Nashville, to a casino maintenance technician in Pennsylvania, to the nonsmoking patrons of restaurants, music venues, bars, and casinos; everyone deserves to breathe smokefree air. ANR is on the ground, working with our community-based and health partners—and people like you—to create healthy, smokefree cities. You can read more about the successes and gaps across the United States in our new report, Bridging the Gap: The Status of Smokefree Air in the U.S.
Double your impact: During this giving season ANR’s Board of Directors will double the strength of your gift. Collectively, our board has pledged $15,000 to match your gifts—if you send in your contribution before December 15th. Double down on your philanthropy this year and help us start 2020 strong! Give a gift of any size today.
Members and donors like you are the backbone of ANR: A major success in 2019 was the Smokefree Atlanta campaign. The new law takes effect January 2nd and will bring clean indoor air to Atlanta’s bars, hotels, and the airport. As donors and advocates, it was your actions and gifts that helped build a way forward. Next year will mark the five-year anniversary of Smokefree New Orleans, the 15-year anniversary of Smokefree Austin, TX, and the 30-year anniversary of Smokefree Airplanes. The best way to celebrate these milestones will be to continue closing gaps in smokefree protections for millions of people.
We know that smokefree laws save lives: Smokefree laws are good for health and good for business, and prevent youth and young adults from starting to smoke. I have been working in tobacco control for the last 29 years, and I am inspired to continue. I am motivated by the ongoing tobacco industry interference in an attempt to block sound public health policies and laws from going into effect.
I am concerned yet driven to prevent erosion to current smokefree protections as more states legalize recreational marijuana and see the push for indoor smoking in restaurants and other public places. I am moved by the people and partners who call with requests for assistance. I am proud to lead the team at an organization like ANR and ANR Foundation.
Together we have the strength and tenacity to keep going when the fight gets tough, just like you, our loyal members and donors!
President and CEO