In 2006, 15 Hoosier cities and counties enacted smoke-free workplace laws, making Indiana a national leader in protection from secondhand smoke in the workplace. Indiana health groups are receiving a national award for their leadership.

"We are proud to present Indiana with the ANR Smoke-free Indoor Air Challenge Award for its success in protecting the right to breathe smoke-free air in the workplace in a growing number of cities," said Cynthia Hallett, executive director, Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights (ANR).

"It's a classic grassroots movement here in Indiana," said Karla Sneegas, executive director, Indiana Tobacco Prevention Cessation. "Our local policymakers are leading the way by cutting across party lines to make smoke-free air and worker's health a priority. We've moved beyond traditional partnerships to work together with faith and business leaders and so many other groups and individuals who support the issue of having a healthier community and a healthier workforce."

In 2006, a total of 143 cities and counties enacted strong local smoke-free workplace laws within 26 states. This is more than double the amount of local smoke-free laws passed just two years earlier, with 64 laws enacted in 2004. Indiana more than doubled the number of local smoke-free laws passed in 2006. A total of six strong laws passed in 2005 compared to 15 this past year.

Paul Messplay, a retired layman and member of Lawrence UMC, works with the Hoosier Faith and Health Coalition to assist communities become smoke-free.