BreathEasy Augusta is a coalition of community partners working to ensure that all workers are protected from secondhand smoke exposure. While some folks will say that they can find another job if they don't like the smoke, we know that jobs are scarce and that people will sacrifice their health to keep a job. Georgia has one of the top 10 unemployment rates in the country....job hopping is not an option for the working class. Every worker deserves a healthy, smokefree workplace.
Why go smokefree?
It's better for workers.
(BreathEasy Augusta fact sheet)
It's better for the community.
A recent summary published in the Journal of the Georgia Public Health Association examined secondhand smoke in public places before and after smoking bans and found significant improvements in air quality and health. The study also concluded that "smokefree legislation is an effective measure to protect the public from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. Legislative smoking bans also have the potential to influence social norms and reduce smoking behavior, thus reducing exposure to secondhand smoke and smoking prevalence."
In short, smokefree legislation just works.
Why Augusta Needs to Go Smokefree
Better Indoor Air Quality
Unhealthy to hazardous levels of air quality were detected at more than 81% of the Augusta workplaces sampled that allow smoking, according to a 2011 Indoor Air Quality Survey by Biostatistics, Inc.
Better According to Our Own Voters
90 percent of adults in the East Central Public Health District support tobacco-free indoor and outdoor public places.
Better for Our Community
Surrounding counties like Columbia and Aiken counties have already gone smokefree. In fact, with its smokefree ordinance, Columbia County ranks 6th out of 159 Georgia counties in health, while we lag far behind at 132nd. Smokefree policies have been found to reduce hospitalizations due to heart attacks by 15 percent and in New York City alone has saved an annual $500 million in health care costs!
According to the latest data, the Augusta health district has one of the highest smoking prevalences in the state. Click the above photo for more stats.