Secondhand smoke, tobacco litter bad
Project Action is a non-profit partnership of individuals and organizations from Hamilton, Fulton and Montgomery counties charged with systematically reducing tobacco use in our community. A key focus of the partnership is the Tobacco Free Outdoors initiative. While educating the community about the benefits of tobacco-free recreational areas, Project Action also provides education on the environmental effect of tobacco litter and the dangers of secondhand smoke.
Secondhand smoke can cause many health problems including allergies, asthma attacks and breathing problems. The Environmental Protection Agency has classified secondhand smoke as a class A carcinogen – placing it in the same category as radon, benzene and asbestos. Cigarette litter is poisonous, putting children, pets and wildlife at risk. Discarded cigarette butts are the most common form of litter, and studies show these butts are toxic, slow to decompose and costly to remove.
Project Action provides community members and organizations with sample policies, signage, and assistance in creating outdoor tobacco-use policies. Tobacco-free policies help prevent youth tobacco use by identifying adults as tobacco-free role models throughout the community.
Currently in our area, some municipalities and business have taken the initiative to make their parks, playgrounds, entryways and their grounds tobacco-free for the health of their employees and visitors. If you are interested in these initiatives or would like more information, please visit www.TobaccoFreeNYS.org or www.projectactionhfm.org.