Oct. 1, 2009
(320) 251-2700, ext. 74980
Smoke Free Communities celebrates two years of smoke-free air!
ST. CLOUD, Minn. – October 1, 2009, marks the two-year anniversary of the Freedom to Breathe Act taking effect. This law cleared the air in Minnesota bars, restaurants, and other worksites from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. This monumental law was a huge step forward in reducing health care costs and protecting Minnesota workers.
The Smoke Free Communities coalition gathered to celebrate the success of two years of smoke-free air. More than 100 coalition members reflected on the accomplishments of Smoke Free Communities and the hundreds of advocates across the state who helped educate our communities and lawmakers about the importance of the Freedom to Breathe Act.
“As a former hospitality worker, I am thrilled that we’ve been smoke-free for two years,” says Angela Schreiber from St. Cloud, Minn. “I wasn’t provided the protections from secondhand smoke while working in the industry, but I worked hard to ensure future generations would be.”
Important strides have been made in eliminating the harm tobacco causes the people of Minnesota, but tobacco use still remains the number one preventable cause of death and disease in Minnesota. The economic, emotional and health consequences of tobacco use and secondhand smoke are devastating. In Minnesota alone, smoking causes 5,500 deaths annually, and costs nearly $2 billion in health care costs. More than 634,000 Minnesotans - mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and friends - still smoke, and smoking-related disease and death impacts not only them but their families and loved ones. Smoke Free Communities will continue to educate and advocate Central Minnesotans in efforts that will reduce the harm tobacco causes.
For help quitting, call 1-888-354-PLAN or visit quitplan.com.
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