ATLANTA, May 31, 2022 — The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioner’s passed a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance for the city – building on their commitment for a healthier community. The American Heart Association, Center for Pan Asian Community Services (CPACS), Gwinnett United in Drug Education, Inc., Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, The Center for Black Health and Equity, Entertainers Speak Out, American Lung Association and American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) are applauding the lifesaving measure.
“The American Heart Association celebrates the leadership of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners for their recent decision to create healthier environments in all public places,” said Laura Bracci, Community Advocacy Director at the American Heart Association. “Gwinnett County has taken an important step in becoming a healthier place in which people can work, dine and live.
Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including at least 70 carcinogens. The U.S. Surgeon General found that secondhand smoke is a proven cause of lung cancer, heart disease, and serious respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis, low birth weight, and sudden infant death syndrome.
“The scientific evidence is clear – there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke,” shared Julie Vojtech, ACS CAN Georgia Government Relations Director. .“Smoke-free policies are the most economic and effective protection from secondhand smoke exposure – separate areas, air cleaning or ventilation systems do not eliminate exposure.”
The CPACS Community Action Team, a group of Gwinnett youth, have taken a stand for its Gwinnett residents and their health.
“We believe everyone has a right to a smoke-free workplace,” shared Safwan Shopon, CPACS CAT Youth member. “As many of us are entering the workforce, we want to be sure we never have to work in an environment that allows smoking. We also want to make sure my friends and family are protected in their workplaces within Gwinnett County.”
Jessica Andrews-Wilson, Executive Director of Gwinnett United in Drug Education, Inc. acknowledges this important step taken by the Gwinnett Board of Commissioners and its impact on tobacco use and youth. “Comprehensive smoke-free policies that include e-cigarettes have been shown to promote tobacco-free lifestyles,” said Andrews-Wilson. “We applaud the leaders in our community for supporting policies that encourage tobacco-free youth.”
Gwinnett’s comprehensive smoke-free ordinance takes effect on June 23, 2022.