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The Scoop

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Verbatim: County's smoking ordinance targeted

Tobacco Free Allen County issued this news release today:

Fort Wayne, IN — November 18, 2011 — Allen County employees are subjecting themselves to dangerous health hazards every day in the workplace, either knowingly or unknowingly, and continue to endure them in order to remain employed. In an attempt to battle this health concern, one coalition has introduced a decree that will protect employees from the harms of secondhand smoke exposure in the workplace.

Tobacco Free Allen County announced today that they have launched their kickoff campaign to make a county-wide smoking ordinance change. The kickoff officially began November 17, 2011 as part of American Cancer Society’s 36th Annual Great American Smoke Out, which is held nationwide as a day set aside to help current smokers plan a quit date.

Originally, the Allen County Smoking Ordinance was designed to restrict smoking in work places, restaurants, and public places. However, with this ordinance several exemptions were issued; private residences, some hotel and motel rooms, retail tobacco stores, bowling alleys (during certain hours), and private clubs and establishments for those 21 and older (bars) are exempt. To date, Ft. Wayne is the only city within Allen County that holds a comprehensive smoking policy.

The goal of the resolution is not to prevent people from smoking; smoking remains permitted in private residences, city parks, sports stadiums, and other outdoor arenas. Rather the resolution is desperately seeking to eradicate smoking within all workplaces in Allen County in order to protect employees from unwarranted secondhand smoke.

According to the U.S Environmental Protect Agency, secondhand smoke has been identified as a Group A carcinogen for almost two decades. The Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Agency (TPC) reported that each year 1,240 Hoosiers die from exposure to secondhand smoke. TPC also found that after Fort Wayne passed its smoke-free workplace ordinance, fine particle air pollution decline 94% in the city.

The resolution is requesting that Allen County Commissioners pass a comprehensive smoking ordinance to eliminate secondhand smoke from all workplaces within Allen County, including restaurants, bars, and private clubs in order to better the workplace atmosphere and address this public health concern.

In order to learn more about this resolution and the current smoking ordinance of Allen County, or how to get involved with this campaign please contact:

Amanda Fall

Tobacco Free Allen County

2200 Lake Ave, #290, Fort Wayne, IN 46805

(260) 420-7484

Amanda@tobaccofreeac.com

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