American Cancer Society Cancer Action Networks Calls for Action in Upstate to Help People Quit Tobacco

As Region Leads State for Highest Average of Adults who Report Exposure to Secondhand Smoke in Public Places

November 17, 2022

GREER, SC– November 16, 2022 – Cancer patients and survivors are marking the American Cancer Society's 47th annual Great American Smokeout® tomorrow by calling on elected officials to protect the health of all Greer residents by enacting a strong smoke-free law that protects residents from secondhand smoke exposure.  

A recent ACS study found that in 2019 31.7% of cancer deaths were claimed by cigarette smoking.

"The Great American Smokeout® is about helping people quit, and we know that in addition to protecting people from secondhand smoke, comprehensive smoke-free laws help encourage and support those trying do just that," said Beth Johnson, South Carolina Government Relations Director at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. "No one should have to choose between their health and a good paycheck. Everyone should have the right to breathe clean, smoke-free air regardless of where they live, work or play.” 

Currently, the Upstate region leads the state in the average of adults who report secondhand smoke exposure in public places. People who do not smoke but are exposed to secondhand smoke are inhaling many of the same cancer-causing substances and poisons that are inhaled by people who smoke, with even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can damage the body’s cells in ways that set the cancer process in motion. In addition to being good for health, numerous studies have found smoke-free laws do not hurt and may even benefit restaurant and bar sales.  

“This Great American Smokeout® we urge the Greer City Council to pass a smoke-free ordinance this year that protects all who work, live and visit,” added Johnson. “In doing so, Greer can help lead the way in the Upstate towards reducing tobacco use and its devastating toll across our state while also advancing our mission to end cancer as we know it, for everyone.” 

Free resources on quitting smoking can be found at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or through the American Cancer Society’s brand new cessation services, Empowered to Quit.

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