Press-Republican

Local News

July 10, 2013

Clean Air Indoor Act amendment 10 years old

(Continued)

PLATTSBURGH —

The Health Department’s role those first few years was focused more on education than administering the law, and that strategy paid off as the county’s businesses accepted the change.

WAIVERS RARE

A few establishments, such as American Legion posts, could apply for waivers for such situations as not having any non-smoking employees.

“There were a lot of restrictions to those waivers,” said Susan Thew, senior public-health sanitarian. 

Few businesses in the county actually received waivers, she added.

NEW ATTITUDE

A lot has changed in the public’s perspective on smoking over the past decade, Derusha noted.

“The public’s attitude is shifting in terms of public health and chronic-disease prevention,” she said. “You’re seeing a lot of these (smoking) bans expanding into outdoor areas.”

“People are making the commitment to tobacco-free outdoors to protect our children and youth,” added Nanette Postlethawit, program assistant for the Adirondack Tobacco Free Network.

Proponents of smoke-free public areas recognize that tobacco is extremely addictive and promote cessation programs as a form of support.

Businesses have also worked closely with the Health Department to establish smoke-free policies on company property.

“A lot of businesses worked with Jim to set up smoke-free policies,” Thew said. “We receive fewer complaints (from employees) each year.”

Email Jeff Meyers:jmeyers@pressrepublican.com

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