Miller receives Champion Award

Thursday, December 14, 2006
Award: Barbara Kumpe, advocacy director for the American Heart Association, presents state Sen. Paul Miller with the organization's 2006 Legislative Champion Award Dec. 8. Photo/Ninemire

State Sen. Paul Miller received the American Heart Association's 2006 Legislative Champion Award Dec. 7 at the Izard County Health Unit in Melbourne.

Miller was selected by the American Heart Association's advocacy committee for his support and sponsorship of the Clean Indoor Air Act, according to Advocacy Director Barbara Kumpe.

The act prohibits smoking in most work places. Kumpe said she was proud of what has resulted from Miller's and the heart association's combined efforts.

"He (Miller) is very deserving of this award; he was diligent in his work (to pass the act) in the special session," Kumpe said. "This really is one of the single most important pieces of legislation that has been passed in years."

"I'm elated we could finally get this to pass," Miller said of the Clean Indoor Air Act.

Miller said this has been a concern of his for a long time and that he has always been an advocate for the health of Arkansans.

"I've lobbied for this with the Senate and the House of Representatives for years," Miller said. "We never had much luck getting attention for the issue, but things changed when the governor got behind us this time."

Miller said the success of the Clean Indoor Air Act was one of the most important pieces of legislation he has been involved with during his six years in the Senate.

"I think this legislation is a triumph for the people of Arkansas," Miller said. "I truly believe it will decrease the overall number of illnesses in the state. It will save millions in dollars of trips to the hospital and prolong lives."

The Arkansas Clean Indoor Act, which became law on July 21, 2006, is enforced to protect workers and citizens in Arkansas from second-hand smoke in all public work places

There is no safe level of second-hand smoke, according to June 2006 studies conducted by the Surgeon General.

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