Keep Colorado smoke-free |

Keep Colorado smoke-free

Sondra Manske, public health educator
Eagle County Health and Human Services

As Colorado celebrates the two-year anniversary of the smoke-free law on July 1, 2008, I would like to pledge my continued support of the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act. I am proud that Colorado and Eagle County have taken this important step to protect its citizens.

The public health science is clear. Smoke-free laws improve the health of all citizens. The Surgeon General has stated that there is no risk free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Nearly 50,000 deaths a year in the U. S. alone are due to secondhand smoke exposure, and it has been shown to cause lung cancer and can be linked to heart disease.

A 2007 study published in the “American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine” found that bar workers in Scotland showed significant improvements in respiratory health and lung function within two months of implementation of a nationwide smoke-free law.

Since the Colorado smoke-free law took effect, many positive results have surfaced. Shortly after the law’s passage, a study conducted by the State Tobacco Education and Prevention Partnership (STEPP) found that the air pollution in hospitality venues improved by nearly 70 percent.

Dramatic improvement to air quality was seen in bars and taverns where the air quality improved by 90 percent. This January, casinos were required to go smoke free, and less than a month after the transition, a study by STEPP found that air pollution in casinos improved by 92 percent. With results like these, there is no question that becoming a smoke-free state continues to be the right choice.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Our statewide smoke-free law should serve as encouragement for everyone to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. For public health in our state, Colorado’s smoke-free law is a breath of fresh air.

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