On Monday, December 16, the city of Lincoln took a step against the use e-cigarettes in the city’s public areas. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) applauds city officials for putting their citizens’ health first and updating the city ordinance against smoking in public areas.
The revised city ordinance passed unanimously (seven to zero) at the city council meeting. The ordinance now prohibits not only cigarette and cigar smoking in public areas, but also the use of e-cigarettes. The use of e-cigarettes in workplaces including restaurants, bars, and casinos can undermine the public health benefits that continue to be achieved by smoke-free laws. This revised ordinance reflects a commitment to protect the health of Lincoln’s citizens and recognizes the right of individuals to breathe smoke-free air.
“Everyone has the right to breathe clean, smoke-free air and no one should have to choose between their health and a paycheck,” said Nick Faustman, Nebraska government relations director of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, e-cigarette aerosol can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances including nicotine, ultrafine particles, flavoring such as diacetyl - a chemical linked to a serious lung disease, cancer-causing chemicals, volatile organic compounds and heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead.
The science is clear—there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Smoke-free laws are the most economic and effective way to protect the public, and it is a major victory that the city of Lincoln is taking this huge step for the health of their citizens.