Stanford history professor, Robert Proctor, described cigarettes as, “the deadliest artifact in the history of civilization.”
Smoking cigarettes causes over 480,000 deaths in the United States each year and is now the leading cause of preventable death. Of the annual deaths caused by cigarettes, 41,000 are due to exposure to secondhand smoke. Ohio recognizes the dangers of secondhand smoke and protects citizens by banning smoking in public places and places of employment through the Smoke-Free Workplace Law. Huron County Public Health (HCPH) is the enforcing agency for the Smoke-Free Workplace Law in Huron County and encourages the public to report violations and threats to their health by calling 1-866-559-OHIO.
The Smoke-Free Workplace Law requires businesses to ban smoking in indoor areas were the public and employees are permitted. If a person is seen smoking they must be asked to do so outside. The law also requires the removal of all ashtrays and other smoking items from indoor areas and the posting of no smoking signs with the complaint phone number at each entrance to the building. Reporting a violation of this law is confidential can be made by anyone by simply calling the complaint phone number, 1-866-559-OHIO, or emailing [email protected]
There is no safe level of secondhand smoke. Even in small amounts, inhaling secondhand smoke can have harmful effects to a person’s health. Secondhand smoke contains over 7,000 dangerous chemicals, including those that cause cancer. Breathing in these chemicals can increase a person’s chances of developing lung cancer and heart disease by 25 percent to 30 percent, and has immediate harmful effects on the cardiovascular system. For HCPH, smoking and tobacco use is an important public health issue. By following Ohio’s Smoke-Free Workplace Law and reporting violations, Huron County residents can help create healthier smoke-free environments in the community.
For more information about Ohio’s Smoke-Free Workplace Law visit, http://www.huroncohealth.com/smoke-free-ohio or https://www.odh.ohio.gov/en/smokefree/sflaw/sflaw1