Letter to the Editor

Smokefree air ordinance marks third anniversary

Friday, September 3, 2010

To The Editor:

On the third anniversary of the passage of the City of Greencastle's Smokefree Air Ordinance, Putnam County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition would like to thank the members of the Greencastle City Council who passed this law in 2007 for making Greencastle a healthier place to live, breathe, work and play.

Secondhand smoke exposure is a real, not imagined, concern. Current estimates state that as many as 53,000 people die annually in this country from exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke.

That includes those with lung cancer, as well as those with asthma and related respiratory conditions worsened by smoke. Countless more, many of them children, are sickened.

These are not minor inconveniences, but life threatening realities.

Tobacco use remains the single most preventable cause of death and disease in this country, and most people start smoking when they are in their teens or early twenties.

It is expensive to taxpayers in the form of increased health care costs.

It is expensive to employers in the form of higher health insurance premiums, higher maintenance fees, and greater absenteeism.

Tobacco use hampers the economic development of communities as industries seek to locate in areas with a healthy, therefore lower cost, work force.

This city council set an example for many generations to come in passing an ordinance of this nature.

Our community is making a statement by supporting these efforts to better the health of its citizens.

Please join me in thanking them for making Greencastle a better place to live and breathe.

If anyone would like more information about tobacco prevention or cessation in Indiana, please visit www.WhiteLies.tv. For local resources, please feel free to contact me at 655-2697 or pctobacco@gmail.com.

Meredith Williams,

Program Director

Putnam County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation