Baldwinsville leads the charge on second-hand smoke control

Smoke-free policies have driven smokers and tobacco users alike outside, and many believe that the fresh air and the great outdoors make smoking safer for those around them.

“There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke,” said Rachael Russell, CNY Tobacco Free Public Health Educator. “If you can smell it, it’s dangerous and it hurts.”

CNY No Tobacco says you can be affected by secondhand smoke up to 25 feet away.

“Second-hand smoke is considered a Class A carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency, which means it’s a substance known to cause cancer,” Russell said. “This puts it in the same category as asbestos, radon and benzene.”

It is not uncommon for people to be exposed to these toxic effects in public parks and playgrounds. Additionally, many smoking policies have become obsolete since the introduction of vaping and the legalization of marijuana added another level of complication.

Baldwinsville Public Works Superintendent Chuck Macauliffe says the village is changing that.

“When the marijuana laws changed, we had complaints around certain playgrounds,” Macauliffe said. “There was marijuana [usage] and a little vaping.

From now on, it is forbidden to smoke, consume marijuana and vape in any of the parks in the village. Baldwinsville is one of the few villages in Onondaga County to have done so.

“It’s just changing over time. If adults choose to smoke or whatever they do, that’s fine and a lot of it is legal,” Macauliffe said. “If we can help. to protect the children a bit is better and that was one of the concerns here. “

It’s a trend that’s happening statewide and seems to be making a difference. CNY No Tobacco reports that the number of adult smokers in Onondaga County has declined by nearly 5%.


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