Over the past several months, the American Heart Association has been working tirelessly with the Breathe Easy Columbus coalition to pass a smoke-free ordinance in the city. After a long and arduous road, we were poised to follow modern cities like Savannah and New Orleans in leading the charge in the expansion of comprehensive smoke-free laws.
However, our progress was all but stopped after the City Council added a plethora of exemptions to the ordinance that go against the recognized best scientific practices. Among the most important of these exemptions is that smoking would be allowed in businesses with ventilation systems. These ventilation systems, like many of the other exemptions, will not protect the citizens of Columbus from the serious dangers of secondhand smoke. It is for this reason that we have increased our efforts in both advocacy and grassroots outreach in Columbus prior to the next reading of the ordinance on June 13.
With the proper amount of exposure and public support, we will be able to move the City Council, and Columbus, in the right direction and create positive health outcomes for every citizen.
If you reside in Columbus and would like to be engaged in the campaign, click here to let us know.