Nonsmokers who are exposed to second hand smoke at work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25 to 30 percent. No worker should have to sacrifice their health for a paycheck.
Click below to hear why workers care about this issue:
There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke - not even for short periods of time. Exposure has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and causes coronary heart disease and lung cancer.
Evidence from peer-reviewed studies shows that smokefree policies don't adversely impact bars and restaurants. Many even report an increase in business, as well as an improvement in attendance and health of their workers. Click below to hear how smokefree has been good for business in other communities:
Letters of Support
We asked Augustans to share why they want their city to go smokefree. Here are a few of their comments:
"I want my hometown of Augusta, Georgia, to be smokefree for my health and my future generation. I want to see my hometown be more proactive and make a difference. Smoking affects everyone!!"--Saucony Hunt
"Smoking poses a threat to my family's health, and I know smoking is a personal 'right,' but secondhand smoke infringes on my right to be be smokefree."--Anjoli Badall
"Smoke is bad for everyone...[being] smokefree can save lives of non-smokers and also the ones that smoke."--Jessie Johnson
"My daughter has asthma. I'd like for her and others including myself to be able to breathe the cleanest air possible without concerns of becoming ill."---Melissa Jennings
"Smoking is a horrible habit with many health risks. My family has an extensive history of cancer so anything I can do to reduce my and my loved ones' chances of getting cancer, I am committed 100%."--Lela Nielson
"I have a daughter to think about, and I would like all children to have fresh air to breathe."--Cheyanna Mitchell
"My dad died of lung cancer."--Eulonda Phillips
"It helps with the environment for all, increases life span and cuts down on many diseases."--Ansley Barnett
"It's harmful not only to them [smokers] but everyone around them."--Courtney Lake
"I have lost many family members and friends due to smoking and cancer."--Lynn Howard
"[I] would love for my city to be smokefree because I don't smoke, it's healthier and my niece has asthma. People like her deserve a chance."--Tameka Ward
"Air quality, personal health and better health for our community."--Nancy Lewis
If you support clean air in Augusta's workplaces, we need to hear your voice. There are many ways you can share why you care about this issue:
No. 3: Share your comments with us. Send us written or video comments to BreathEasyAugusta@gmail.com. We will share your thoughts here on our website and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BreathEasyAugusta.
"As a victim of secondhand smoke from a workplace and parents who smoked, I recently had to have a chest X-ray for shortness of breath, and have been diagnosed with moderate lung disease – even though I never smoked a day in my life."
—Donald Tummons, a respiratory therapist (for the full letter, click here)
"This issue hits close to the heart for myself and our staff. Last year, our human resources director passed away from lung cancer from the effects of smoking. During the past couple of years, the YMCA has established a smoke-free workplace policy to allow our members and staff to enjoy a clean-air environment."
—Danny McConnell, president of the Family YMCA of Greater Augusta (for the full letter, click here)
"Let’s not be the last city in the country to do this. Please help Augusta join communities across Georgia and the U.S. – and make our workplaces 100 percent smoke-free."
—Vernon A. Barnes, PhD, Augusta University, whose father died of cancer from smoking (for the full letter, click here)
"My mother was one of the small percent of lung cancer patients who are nonsmokers. Her life and death motivated me to become an oncologist. Her life and death also have motivated me to be an advocate to decrease risk factors for the development of cancer. Smoking is a huge risk factor!"
—Jeremy Wells, MD, hematologist/oncologist (for the full letter, click here)