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Senate passes bill to make Minnesota foster homes smoke-free

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SOURCE ClearWay Minnesota

Change will protect thousands of vulnerable children

ST. PAUL, Minn., May 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the Minnesota Senate passed a Health and Human Services Policy omnibus bill that included a provision to make Minnesota's foster homes smoke-free.

"This step is long overdue, and we thank lawmakers for showing they care about kids," said Molly Moilanen, Director of Public Affairs at ClearWay Minnesota. "The state is the legal guardian of these children, and it is only right we should provide them with healthy, smoke-free environments."

Thousands of Minnesota children are in the foster care system. Research shows they are more likely to suffer from chronic medical conditions, and secondhand smoke is a known cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), respiratory infections, asthma attacks and ear infections. Nine Minnesota counties and more than half of U.S. states already have similar policies in place.

"Foster children have been left out of secondhand smoke protections for too long," said Moilanen. "We are looking forward to this bill becoming law."

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