Staten Island Advance (Letter to the editor): Extend smokefree policies to other public places

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Published: Friday, February 04, 2011 

By SCOTT T. SANTARELLA
MANHATTAN
 
The American Lung Association in New York applauds the leadership and dedication of the City University Board of Trustees who have taken a stand for health by passing a strong smoke-free policy for all of its campuses.

CUNY joins a growing number of communities that have taken action to protect the public from the serious health hazards of second-hand smoke. This new smoke-free policy comes at a critical time because the need for protection from secondhand smoke in public places has never been clearer.

A recent report released by the Surgeon General concluded that tobacco smoke and exposure to second-hand smoke cause immediate harm to the body, triggering physical changes that lead to cancer, lung disease and many other serious illnesses.

The dangers of tobacco smoke are well documented. Ending this public health epidemic once and for all requires implementation of comprehensive tobacco control measures which save lives, reduce the burden of tobacco related disease, and improve quality of life.

The city can build on this newfound success by extending New York City’s smoke-free policies to parks, beaches, and pedestrian plazas. City Council passage of this legislation would be an important step in protecting New Yorkers from the devastating effects of tobacco smoke. . . .

[The writer is president and CEO of the American Lung Association in New York.]