Lung Association Applauds Mayor Landrieu for Signing Historic Smokefree Ordinance
(January 30, 2015) -
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The American Lung Association in Louisiana today applauds Mayor Mitch Landrieu for signing a citywide ordinance to prevent lung disease and save lives by making workplaces and public places smokefree, including bars and casinos. This measure was unanimously approved by the City Council on Thursday, January 22, and signed into law today.
Jennifer Cofer, vice president of public policy and health promotions of the American Lung Association in Louisiana, said, "Mayor Landrieu, Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, Councilwoman Susan Guidry and their colleagues are to be commended for passing this historic ordinance to protect employees and patrons in workplaces including casinos from the proven dangers of secondhand smoke."
"New Orleans is now the largest city in Louisiana to pass a smokefree ordinance. Its passage is truly historic, making New Orleans the first major city in the nation to pass a law that both requires smokefree casinos and protects the public from secondhand e-cigarette emissions," Cofer said.
In addition to protecting everyone from the dangers of secondhand smoke, New Orleans’ ordinance also prohibits the use of e-cigarettes in workplaces as well. While many of the health impacts of e-cigarette use and their secondhand aerosol emissions remain relatively unknown, according to a new report from the California Department of Public Health, the aerosol has been found to contain at least ten chemicals that are known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, nearly 50,000 Americans die each year from secondhand smoke exposure. It is the cause of a host of other diseases, including lung cancer, heart disease and stroke. Yet, according to the "State of Tobacco Control" report, state level progress on proven tobacco control policies was virtually nonexistent in 2014.
Elected officials in other states and cities are also considering smokefree air laws. The American Lung Association urges these lawmakers to act quickly and decisively on behalf of the health of their constituents. Secondhand smoke kills. Comprehensive smokefree air laws are the only effective measure to prevent death and disease caused by secondhand smoke in public places and workplaces, as the U.S. Surgeon General has stated.
All Americans deserve to breathe healthy air, not just citizens of New Orleans. The American Lung Association is committed to bringing laws similar to the New Orleans ordinance to the rest of Louisiana and the nation.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.