New York State enacted the Clean Indoor Air Act 10 years ago today to protect workers from secondhand smoke and help reduce smoking rates. The law bans smoking in workplaces and entertainment/leisure venues—saving nonsmokers from inhaling unwanted tobacco smoke and preventing millions of New Yorkers from developing smoking-related illness.
Eliminating smoking indoors is the only way to protect adults and children fully from secondhand smoke. Exposure to secondhand smoke affects about 22 million children and 126 million adults in the US. For children, it contributes to increased ear infections, more frequent and severe asthma attacks, and the development of bronchitis and pneumonia. Secondhand smoke also puts newborns at greater risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Exposure to secondhand smoke puts adults at increased risk for heart disease and lung cancer.
Despite the 10-year success of the Clean Indoor Air Act, smoking still kills more than 25,000 New Yorkers each year and remains the leading cause of preventable death in the US. Furthermore, New York State’s smoking-related healthcare costs are $8 billion every year–including $5.4 billion in Medicaid expenses.
We can help you stop smoking or find information about healthcare provider services. Call North Shore-LIJ’s Center for Tobacco Control at 516-466-1980 or reach the New York State Smokers’ Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS.