Mississippi Ranks First in Smoke-Free Communities in 2015

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Mississippi State Department of Health’s Office of Tobacco Control and Smokefree Mississippi efforts were ranked as first in the nation for passing the most smoke-free ordinances within municipalities in 2015, according to a press release from the MSDH.

“The smoke-free air policies implemented by 18 Mississippi cities in 2015 will protect all employees and customers in businesses and other public places from the harmful effects of breathing secondhand smoke. There is no safe level of secondhand smoke,” said Amy Winter, director of the OTC at the MSDH, in the release. “Mississippians overwhelmingly support the idea of smoke-free environments. There is no downside to implementing comprehensive smoke-free air policies.”

The OTC and Smokefree Mississippi recognized the 18 cities at the Mississippi Municipal League conference held June 28, the release states.

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Smokefree Mississippi partners with community volunteers from the Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalition to create grassroots movements in cities that do not have smoke-free air ordinances, the release states.

The coalitions, funded by an MSDH grant, strive to educate residents of Mississippi about the dangers of tobacco use as well as secondhand smoke, according to the release.

Their efforts produce information on the benefits of being free of tobacco as well as working to prevent secondhand smoke in public places.

More information on how to pass a smoke-free ordinance and the dangers of secondhand smoke can be found at www.HealthyMS.com/tobacco.