This year has been a year of firsts. The first smokefree hearings in New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania in more than a decade. The first opportunity to be part of a major gaming industry conference panel solely focused on smoking in casinos and going smokefree. Our first direct shareholder advocacy effort with casino companies.
We are at a tipping point in the smokefree movement!
People—not places—are at the center of our ongoing efforts. Nonsmokers’ rights has always been about securing protections to breathe smokefree air where we work, where we gather to socialize or for entertainment, and where we live, especially in apartments or other multi-unit housing. ANR is often the sole source for individuals in need of help. I joined ANR and the ANR Foundation in 1997 and was astonished at the number of calls we received from people living in apartments who could not find anyone to help them get relief from neighbors who smoke. Sadly, those calls continue to be one of the most frequent inquiries, with the added twist that the smoke is now tobacco and marijuana. Many callers are relieved to finally talk to a person and get some advice about talking to landlords or connecting with local agencies in their city (see Bernadette’s story on reverse).
We thrive at the grassroots level educating individuals and communities. We organize and collaborate with community-based and worker-led coalitions (see Joe’s story on reverse) to advance strong laws and policies at the local and state levels to ensure everyone has the same protections. We engage in shareholder advocacy designed to hold corporations accountable, asking questions about advancing worker justice and health equity as it relates to corporate responsibility, overall community health, and shareholder values. Our multi-pronged approach to accomplishing our smokefree goals is paying off—and our success is why our opponents are pulling out all the stops to halt our work or chip away at our successes.
Your support has helped ANR to combat industry opposition, sustain its cutting-edge advocacy, and expand into innovative efforts to apply influence and pressure to do the right thing for nonsmokers’ rights.
We have real opportunities ahead of us this year and as we kick off 2024:
We are working hard for a vote on the New Jersey smokefree casinos bill before the end of 2023 in this lame duck session. Read the latest here.
More hearings in Pennsylvania on the bill to close gaps in the partial Clean Indoor Air act, which would protect 13 million people.
A vote in Knoxville, Tennessee on smokefree bars and music venues, and the launch of Smokefree 901 in Memphis and an eventual campaign in 2024.
Collecting and videotaping additional authentic stories from workers, musicians, policy makers, and people negatively impacted by secondhand smoke exposure. Barriers to advocacy are significant for many workers and ANR is breaking those down to bring people together, building their power and creating a legacy of making the impossible possible.
Can we count on you to give generously so that we can maintain the momentum?
Thank you in advance for supporting this movement and making a generous year-end gift to ANR or the ANR Foundation. Every dollar you contribute goes a long way in making a significant difference in the lives of those we strive to protect. Please contact me if you have questions or would like to be directly involved in any of our upcoming legislative, advocacy or educational campaigns. I appreciate hearing from you and value your input.