Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Going Smokefree - Catch the Wave

Westfield adopted a smoking ban in work and public places such as outdoor arenas, stadiums and amphitheaters, that goes into effect today, October 14th.
On the surface it seems all good but in the big picture Westfield joins the list of local cities, including Indianapolis, which adopted limited bans still allowing smoking in bars, private clubs and restaurants that serve adults 21 and over.
Limited bans still leave a large number of citizens unprotected including workers. Workers exposed to second hand smoke on the job are 50% more likely than the general population to develop lung cancer.
No one should have to choose between their job and their health.
Indianapolis has fallen behind considering 25 states and thousands of cities and counties across the nation now have 100% smoke free workplaces that include bars and restaurants. Indianapolis has to take the lead as the Capital of our state to push for a more comprehensive smoke free policy.
As Indianapolis prepares for hosting more conventions and major sporting events wouldn’t it be great to also promote a “healthier and cleaner city” by pushing for a more comprehensive smoke free ordinance? If Indianapolis can do it, cities like Avon, Carmel, Greenfield, Greenwood, Lawrence, Speedway, Whitestown and Westfield can have a local example of strengthening an adopted smokefree ban to a more comprehensive one. We shouldn’t have to wait for a Statewide ordinance. Our city-council’s main function is to protect all citizens. Why not go with the tide of smokefree bans and ride the next big wave to a comprehensive smokefree ordinance for the city of Indianapolis? Let us join our local communities that already have comprehensive smokefree laws in Indiana – Bloomington, Cumberland, Elkhart, Franklin, Ft. Wayne, Greencastle, Hancock County, Monroe County, Plainfield, West Lafayette and Zionsville.

Aida McCammon, Ph.D, MSW
Indiana Latino Institute, Inc.

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