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Letter: Statewide smoking ban has benefitted many

To the editor,

We all owe a debt of gratitude to Minnesota's lawmakers who last year had the courage to buck the tobacco industry and vote to make our state smoke-free. Not only is going to a bar or restaurant a more pleasant (and safer) experience, we're all benefiting from having the law in place. Less exposure to secondhand smoke means a healthier citizenry, which in turn means less tobacco-related health insurance, medical and tax costs.

The men and women who this law really benefits, though, are the employees of the bars and restaurants across our state. A March 2008 study conducted by the University of Minnesota showed that the levels of a lung cancer-causing agent had decreased by 85 percent in only the four months since the law took effect. This law has already had a big impact on making Minnesota a much healthier and pleasant place to live and work.

Randi Callahan,