Beginning Saturday, Sept. 1, smoking will be prohibited in public places, in the city of Greencastle, except for private clubs.
Officials with the Putnam County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition, supporters of the ban, are seeking to provide the following reminder to the public concerning the ordinance:
"These smoke free air laws are designed to protect the public health and welfare of the community from health hazards induced by breathing secondhand smoke," the coalition said in a press release. "The health hazards include lung cancer, heart disease and respiratory infections."
In order for each business to be in compliance with this new law, a conspicuous sign must be posted at the entrance to the business by Sept. 1.
Putnam County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation will provide any business with this signage at no cost. Signage may be picked up at the Office the Mayor, the Greater Greencastle Chamber of Commerce or through Putnam County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation by calling 655-2697 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional information about the ordinance may also be picked up with signage.
According to the coalition, secondhand smoke kills more than 50,000 Americans every year by causing lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease and asthma in otherwise healthy non-smokers. Parents who quit smoking before their children are 8 or 9 years old not only protect them from the effects of secondhand smoke, but also decrease the odds that their children will become smokers by 25 percent.
If both parents quit, the odds decrease to 40 percent. Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death and disease in the United States, according to the coalition.
They say smoking alone is responsible for more than 420,000 premature deaths in the U.S. annually.