On 10th anniversary of smoking ban, some bars, restaurants employ more, says St. Lawrence County tobacco program official
Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 11:53 am

Nearly ten years after the “Clean Indoor Air Act” was adopted, some bars and restaurants have seen record increases in employment, according to St. Lawrence County Public Health Department staffers.

“Our kids deserve similar protection from tobacco industry marketing in retail stores that entices them to start smoking,” said Benjamin R. Todd, tobacco program coordinator.

July 24 is the 10th anniversary of the 2003 law that prohibits smoking in most workplaces, bars, restaurants, bowling facilities, taverns and bingo halls.

At the time of its passage, opponents of the law claimed it would hurt the bar and restaurant industry.

Second-hand smoke causes cancer, detrimentally affects fetal growth, and causes respiratory problems, staffers said. In adults exposure to second-hand smoke can also lead to an elevated risk for stroke, acute and chronic coronary artery and heart diseases, health officials say.

Over 30 percent of smokers in New York attempting to quit have cited indoor smoking bans as a reason for their desire to quit, officials said.

The surgeon general has characterized youth smoking as a “pediatric epidemic” and has cited tobacco marketing is a cause of youth smoking, health department staffers said.

The surgeon general has stated that limiting the use of retail environments for marketing to youth should be included in an overall tobacco control program to discourage smoking.

Ninety percent of smokers begin smoking before age 18, staffers said.

A May 2007 study concluded that the more cigarette marketing teens are exposed to in retail stores, the more likely they are to smoke, according to staffers.

For more information visit www.tobaccofreenys.org or call Todd at 229-3432.