Supervisors Honored for Protecting Public from Secondhand Smoke
December 8, 2006
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The Contra Costa Board of Supervisors will receive a Public Health Leadership Award on Tuesday for their support of a secondhand smoke protections ordinance this past October. Departing Supervisor Mark DeSaulnier also will be honored for his leadership in addressing tobacco-related issues.
The county's Tobacco Prevention Coalition (TPC) and the California Clean Air Project (CCAP) will present the awards at the supervisors' meeting, which starts 9 a.m. Tuesday in the Board Chambers, Room 107, Administration Building, 651 Pine Street, Martinez. CCAP, a project of the American Lung Association, is California's statewide secondhand smoke technical assistance program.
"We want to recognize the Board of Supervisors for their commitment to reducing secondhand smoke exposure for residents of unincorporated county," said TPC Co-chair Dr. Joel White. "The new ordinance is a model for cities in the county to extend the same protections to their residents. We're also acknowledging Supervisor DeSaulnier for his long-term commitment and dedicated leadership to preventing the harmful effects of secondhand smoke exposure and reducing youth access to tobacco products in the county."
The Board of Supervisors adopted a comprehensive secondhand smoke ordinance permanently banning smoking in county areas and county-owned facilities on October 17. The county's decision to go smoke-free sends a powerful message about the importance of protecting the public from secondhand smoke, said Denice Dennis, Tobacco Prevention Project Manager for Contra Costa Health Services.
"The Supervisors' support of secondhand smoke protection polices is vital to public health by helping protect the 86% of Contra Costa residents who are nonsmokers, especially children who are most vulnerable," Dennis said.
The new ordinance bans smoking in county public parks, common indoor and outdoor areas of multi-unit housing residences, public event venues, public trails, service areas such as ATM lines or bus stops, outdoor dining areas and within 20 feet of all business doorways, operable windows, and ventilation units. The Board of Supervisors also directed a smoke-free campus policy for the county's Contra Costa Regional Medical Center (CCRMC) and 10 health center campuses.
For more information on the ordinance, call Yvonne Beals, Tobacco Prevention Project Policy Coordinator, at 925-313-6216.
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- Yvonne Beals