Newsday: Sizzling over Great Neck Smoking Ban (Letter to the editor)

(January 9, 2011)

Originally published: January 7, 2011

The American Lung Association in New York commends the Village of Great Neck for extending its ban on smoking in public places. Secondhand smoke is not merely a nuisance; it's a public health threat that is responsible for the deaths of 2,500 New Yorkers every year.

The U.S. surgeon general recently issued a report that reaffirmed that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. It's time that more local governments took heed of this warning and passed strong laws protecting their residents.

Elected officials must continue to act decisively against the tobacco epidemic and implement aggressive measures that reduce the burden of tobacco-related disease. We will continue working to ensure others follow suit.

Scott T. Santarella

Editor's note: The writer is president of the American Lung Association in New York.