OSHA Snuffs Out Indoor Air Proposal With Support Of Anti-Smoking Groups

OSHA is withdrawing an inactive indoor air quality regulation proposed in 1994, saying that most anti-smoking activity is now taking place on a state or local level.

Administrator John Henshaw announced that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is withdrawing an inactive indoor air quality regulation proposed in 1994. The decision was reached with the support of major anti-smoking public health groups including the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

"Most of the activity on workplace smoking restrictions is now taking place at the state and local level," Henshaw said. "Today's action takes the positive step of setting aside what had become a contentious and unproductive effort. Of course, this action does not preclude future agency action if the need arises."

According to the American Lung Association, there has been a 50 percent increase in workplaces that have a smoke-free policy since 1994. Today, nearly 70 percent of employees work in businesses that have instituted smoke-free workplace policies.

"The urgency for federal action that existed when the rule making began has been changed by the actions of local communities, private employers and the states," said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids in a letter to OSHA.

For more information, please go to www.osha.gov.

edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

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