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NYS Clean Indoor Air Act is 10 years young and going strong

Sunday, July 28, 2013
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NYS Clean Indoor Air Act is 10 yrs. young and going strong

Thank you for 10 years of smoke-free air. Ten years ago, New York state passed the Clean Indoor Air Act [July 22 Gazette]. This law prohibited smoking inside almost all workplaces, bars, restaurants, bowling facilities, taverns and bingo halls in New York state, protecting millions of New Yorkers from exposure to secondhand smoke.

New York was the second state, after Delaware, to pass a comprehensive clean indoor air law. This law was created to not only protect the patrons of these establishments, but also the staff, who were exposed to deadly secondhand smoke on a consistent basis. Countless numbers of lives have been saved due to this law being put into effect.

The law also affected patrons who now had to start smoking outside. According to the New York State Department of Health, over 30 percent of smokers in New York who have made a quit attempt, have cited indoor smoking bans as a reason for attempting to quit. For every New Yorker who quits, it not only saves a life, it also saves money because it costs New York state taxpayers over $8 billion annually to treat tobacco-related illnesses.

There is still a lot to be done in New York with regard to tobacco use. Smoking is still the No. 1 cause of death and there are over 389,000 kids under 18 in New York state who will ultimately die prematurely from smoking. This is why the New York State Bureau of Tobacco Control is fighting to reduce tobacco displays and marketing in stores all around the state. A May 2007 study, the first national study to examine how specific marketing strategies in convenience stores and other retail settings affect youth smoking, concluded that the more cigarette marketing teens are exposed to in retail stores, the more likely they are to smoke.

Thank you, New York, for protecting your citizens from the deadly effects of secondhand smoke. Now that we have accomplished 10 years of smoke-free indoors, let’s protect kids from ever starting to smoke by reducing the amount of tobacco advertising in and around stores.

Justin Hladik

Johnstown

The writer is program coordinator for Reality Check of Hamilton, Fulton, and Montgomery counties.

Community turnout for Shen Memorials was successful

The Fourth of July was more than just a time of celebrating our country’s freedom. For us, it was recognizing now more than ever what a great and caring community we live in.

Despite blistering temperatures, people came out and helped us raise more than $3,200 for the Shenendehowa Memorials. Shen Memorials is a wonderful organization that has been raising money for causes important to the Stewart, Rivers, Hardy and Wind families who were impacted by the fatal car accident on Dec. 1.

We met these families last month and our prayers remain with them during these difficult days.

Your support does more than provide funds for causes close to their hearts. It sends a message that you have not forgotten them.

We want to thank you for giving so generously.

Richard and Maryann Bowman

Clifton Park

 
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