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Did you hear? Indy is celebrating smoke-free air!

Posted by: IndyHub
Posted: May 16, 2012
Categories: Uncategorized

Guest post by Alison Martin

Growing up, I was highly aware of the impact that asthma could have on a family.  I can remember nights of running my sister to the emergency room as she struggled to breathe. Watching her nearly turn blue made me realize at a very young age the value of our lungs which we so often take for granted. Fortunately, as she grew older her attacks became less serious but precautions are still taken. Even just a few weeks ago as we celebrated my younger sister’s pre-wedding festivities, it was important to us to find smoke-free establishments in Indy to visit. Fortunately that search will become much easier as of June 1!

Indianapolis residents, we have a right to be excited!  As of June 1, Indianapolis will be under the guidelines of a new and improved smoking ordinance. Proposal 136 will make nearly all workplaces smoke-free, most notably bars and taverns. The new law also covers bowling alleys and hotel rooms.

As a sister and as the Executive Director of the American Lung Association, I know how important smoke-free air laws are for protecting the rights and the lungs of all Hoosiers exposed to the dangerous air. Did you know that in the United States, exposure to secondhand smoke causes approximately 50,000 deaths each year mostly from lung cancer and coronary heart disease? Secondhand smoke is especially dangerous for people who must spend 8 hours a day or more exposed at work. Thanks to the advancement in Indy’s public health law, the new ordinance will reduce the number of workplaces in Indianapolis that allow smoking from 370 to 60. That is thousands of Hoosiers breathing safer air!

As a patron of Indianapolis restaurants and bars, here are some the top changes you’ll see go into effect on June 1:

1.     No smoking in restaurants, bars, taverns and bowling alleys

2.     No use of electronic cigarettes in smoke-free places

3.     No smoking within 8 feet of an entrance to a public place of employment

Some exemptions to the law do exist.  Smoking is still allowed in retail tobacco stores, cigar or hookah bars, off-track betting facilities and certain private or fraternal clubs.

Like I said earlier, this new ordinance is something to celebrate and the American Lung Association and I plan to do just that! You can too! Join with the American Lung Association on Saturday, June 9 at our Fight For Air Walk. Together we can celebrate a smoke-free Indianapolis!  This event kicks off at 8 a.m. at Butler University. Teams of advocates, friends, families and companies will be celebrating together and enjoying music, complimentary breakfast, kids entertainment, local celebrity appearances and more. Hear from lung disease survivors. Become an advocate yourself by walking in honor or memory of a loved one, or in celebration of a healthier Indianapolis community.  At 9 a.m. the Walk begins.  Participants can elect to walk a 5K or 1 mile route. The 1 mile route is encouraged for lung disease patients and families with small children. Strollers and Leashed pets are welcome.

Join the Fight For Air and register today for the Fight For Air Walk at www.FightForAirWalk.org. Your support WILL make a difference!

In Health,

Alison Martin
Executive Director, American Lung Association

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