As the executive vice president of the American Heart Association's Midwest Affiliate and Kansas resident, I applaud Gov. Mark Parkinson's pursuit of a statewide clean indoor air law. The governor clearly recognizes the dangers of secondhand smoke and how vital it is for all Kansans to avoid exposure to this life-threatening product. We appreciate the governor's guidance as we work to join the 27 other states that have already passed smoke-free legislation.

Exposure to secondhand smoke is associated with health risks in both children and adults. Because of these dangers, 35,052 nonsmokers die from coronary heart disease (CHD) each year as a result of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. The Kansas Health Policy Authority estimates nearly 4,000 Kansans die each year from smoking-related diseases, including 290 blamed on secondhand smoke.

We look forward to the 2010 Legislative session with great optimism that this will be the year for clean indoor air and a healthier Kansas. Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to working with you to make Kansas a smoke-free state.