Foundation applauds Summit’s bans
Washington, D.C. The American Legacy Foundation applauds Summit County for taking the appropriate steps to protect its residents and visitors from the chemicals and carcinogens found in secondhand smoke. In doing so, Summit County will play a role in saving lives, given that secondhand smoke accounts for about 50,000 deaths from heart disease annually in the United States. Currently, within restaurants and bars, our government establishes standards for drinking water, food, sanitation, noise levels and more.Given that we know secondhand smoke causes cancer and contains chemicals including cyanide, arsenic and carbon monoxide, it only makes sense to protect people from these dangers. Air that is free of secondhand smoke protects service industry workers and the patrons that enjoy eating at restaurants and socializing at bars. Positive benefits following clean indoor air laws are nearly immediate: Just two months after California bars went smokefree, bartenders’ complaints of wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing dropped almost 60 percent. Aside from these health benefits, sales tax studies consistently demonstrate that ordinances restricting smoking in restaurants have no negative effect on revenues and indeed can have positive affects. In Massachusetts smoke-free laws have shown no substantial impact on aggregate restaurant sales. Since the implementation of New York City’s smokefree workplace law – which includes restaurants and bars – employment in the city’s restaurants and bars increased by about 1,500 seasonally adjusted jobs, amounting to an absolute gain of nearly 10,000 jobs. On behalf of the nation’s only foundation solely dedicated to tobacco prevention and cessation, I congratulate you on taking this step in providing better health and a better quality of life for your residents and visitors.
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