Missouri’s leading health organizations thank Mayor Raeanne Presley and the Branson Board of Alderman for unanimously passing a strong smoke-free ordinance. This ordinance will protect workers and the public from the serious health hazards of secondhand smoke.
“Supporters and volunteers have tirelessly worked for Branson citizens’ right to breathe clean indoor air,” said Traci Kennedy, executive director of Tobacco-Free Missouri. “Smoke-free policies are the most economic and effective protection from secondhand smoke exposure. And no one should have to put their health at risk in order to earn a paycheck or enjoy a night out.”
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and Tobacco Free Missouri applaud the persistence of the many individuals and organizations that fought the long battle to make Branson smoke-free. The organizations combined forces with the community to urge Branson city leaders to join other cities across Missouri to pass a comprehensive smoke-free workplace ordinance that eliminates smoking in indoor public places and workplaces, including restaurants and bars.
“Branson is now added to the growing list of smoke-free cities,” said Teri Harr, volunteer chair for the Tri-Lakes Clean Air Alliance. “As a tourist destination to millions of visitors each year, we are elated to celebrate this milestone and show the rest of Missouri that Branson values the health of its workers, residents and visitors.”
It is estimated that secondhand smoke exposure kills more than 41,000 Americans every year. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds that are toxic and at least 70 that cause cancer. The U.S. Surgeon General has found that secondhand smoke causes lung cancer, heart disease, serious respiratory illnesses, low birth weight and sudden infant death syndrome.
“The scientific evidence is clear – there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke,” said Kennedy. “Soon residents, employees and visitors in Branson will be able to celebrate breathing clean indoor air. We will continue to help the city in any way possible to support the implementation and enforcement of the city’s new smoke-free ordinance.”
Branson’s comprehensive smoke-free ordinance takes effect July 1, 2015.