ADVERTISEMENT

It is time to clean the air in every part of our lives

It has been 10 short years since New York State adopted the Clean Indoor Air Act. Restaurants no longer ask, “Smoking or non-smoking?” A generation of young people has never experienced smoking in restaurants or bars. Young professionals don’t know what it is like work alongside someone who smokes. We are so accustomed to breathing smoke-free air, we take it for granted. This law continues to save lives.

Despite the success of this law and the countless lives that have been saved, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in New York State. We need to take the next step and support clean air everywhere, including our parks, playgrounds, entry ways and multi-unit housing. We should not have to run a gantlet of poisoned air to enter a building.

Local governments should not bear the expense of cleaning up littered cigarette butts. Renters should not have to inhale secondhand smoke from a neighbor.

The 2003 the Clean Indoor Air Act was a terrific beginning. In 2013, let’s go for clean air everywhere.

Anthony Billoni, Director

Erie-Niagara

Tobacco-Free Coalition

Roswell Park Cancer Institute