City smoke-free ordinance in effect

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The City of Gadsden officially became smoke-free Feb. 1 as implementation begins on the comprehensive smoke-free ordinance passed by the Gadsden City Council last June.  Gadsden now joins 26 other communities throughout Alabama that are leading the way in protecting citizens from the dangers of secondhand smoke.  

City leaders took a critical step forward in protecting the health of workers and residents in Gadsden by passing a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance covering all workplaces, including bars and restaurants. 

“We are so pleased to celebrate Gadsden being smoke-free so that those who work, live and play in our community will now be protected from secondhand smoke exposure,” said Kamela Aaron of the Etowah County Tobacco Free Coalition. “Everyone has the right to breathe smoke-free air, and now people who work in Gadsden will not have to choose between their health and their paycheck.” 

Smoking, including the use of e-cigarettes, will be prohibited in all enclosed areas of places of employment located within the City of Gadsden and within 20 feet outside of front public entrances, according to the ordinance.

The American Lung Association, American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and the Etowah County Tobacco Free Coalition applaud the leadership and commitment of the Gadsden City Council to protect all workers in the community from the dangers of secondhand smoke. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable premature death in Alabama. Evidence shows that smoke-free laws are an effective tool in preventing illness and saving lives.

The 2014 Surgeon General’s report, “The Health Consequences of Smoking – 50 Years of Progress,” said that secondhand smoke is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, cancer, COPD and other chronic diseases. Research shows that implementation of the most comprehensive laws – those covering workplaces, restaurants and bars – results in more public health benefits, including reducing secondhand smoke-related health care costs and helping prevent youth from starting to smoke.

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