On October 11, 2016, the DC Council moved forward in protecting the health of DC residents and visitors by voting in favor of three bills that would strengthen the District’s smoke-free environment. All 3 bills require passage at a final vote on November 1 before they can be sent to the Mayor.
Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in DC and the US, yet 16.4% of adults and 12.5% of high school students in the District still smoke. The bills approved by the Council that aim to reduce such tobacco use include:
B21-152: Would raise the minimum purchase age for tobacco products from 18 to 21 years.
B21-686: Would prohibit smokeless tobacco use in sports venues, including Nationals Park.
B21-780: Would prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes in all areas where smoking is currently prohibited by law—including public spaces and places of employment.
You're the Cure advocate Deb Wells, who lost both her parents and a brother to lung cancer attributed to smoking, shared, "We are part of a community with a responsibility to our community's health."
The support for these bills shows DC's commitment to that responsibility, especially for our youth. By limiting access, reducing exposure, and strengthening smoke-free laws, youth smoking rates can decrease, leading to a healthier community. Tobacco 21, tobacco-free baseball, and restricting e-cigarette exposure are key elements of this approach.
Join us in strengthening DC's smoke-free environment by clicking here and telling your Councilmembers that you support a tobacco-free DC!
<Special thanks to You're the Cure intern Madeleine Homer for help developing this blog post>