It’s been ten years since the FDA was given the mandate from Congress to fully regulate the tobacco industry and tasked with the critical responsibility of protecting the health of our nation. And still, the FDA has not fulfilled its mission to reduce the deadly toll of tobacco use.
The Big Easy Goes Smoke-Free
Today, a city known for its night life, great restaurants and casinos has made the historic move to go smoke-free. I'm honored that ACS CAN was asked by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to attend the singing of the city ordinance.
The New Orleans City Council unanimously passed the citywide smoke-free ordinance last week. Now that the mayor has signed it into law, all workplaces including restaurants, casinos, bars and public spaces will be smoke-free in 90 days. Tourists on Bourbon Street, bartenders on Frenchman Street and every other worker and patron across the city will soon be protected from the cancer-causing toxins found in secondhand smoke. Most importantly, Mayor Landrieu in ensuring that workers in New Orleans will no longer be faced with a choice between their health and a paycheck. The public health victory in New Orleans should be an example for elected officials in other municipalities and states with casinos and gaming facilities who haven't yet taken action to protect everyone's right to breathe smoke-free air. ACS CAN staff and volunteers are working in states such as Kentucky and Alaska, and cities such as Montgomery, Ala., and Baton Rouge, La., to enact similar legislation this year. Currently, 24 states and the District of Columbia have enacted comprehensive smoke-free workplace laws, protecting almost half of all Americans from the dangers of secondhand smoke in workplaces, bars and restaurants. Yet, each year more than 41,000 adult nonsmokers in our country die from heart disease and lung cancer caused by exposure to secondhand smoke. These are lives we could save every year if all lawmakers decided to put the health of its citizens first. Will you join us in representing the voice of those affected by cancers with your city officials and state lawmakers? *Image by Prayitno on Flikr.