Bessemer has a weak anti-smoking law, passed in 2008 (that was largely ignored when first passed).
Fultondale has now passed the gold standard of smoking ordinances.
Bessemer needs to strengthen its smoking ordinance to prohibit smoking in all public places, and may be the city to watch, according to those who monitor such things.
They are wondering if public support is behind the move. Not sure, but the ones who vote are the city council members, and 5 of the 7, along with the mayor, were at today's Smokefree Bessemer Soul Walk.
There were 820 pairs of shoes, donated by individuals and representing other individuals who had died from second hand smoke.
Of course, some of the shoes were worthy of donation for other reasons, but I digress. (And actually, I think the shoes are kind of cool).
But seriously, this is an important issue and the Progressive Bessemer Coalition supports it. Now its up to the City Council.
"Everyone Has the Right to Breathe Smokefree Air"
Unfortunately, there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. The only way to protect yourself is to avoid it as much as possible. When out in public, choose to spend time at smokefree venues and try to stay away from those who are smoking. If you smoke, do so outdoors and in open areas away from others, especially children and other high risk people. Also, try quitting :-)
• Smoking kills more people than alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined.
• There are 4,000 harmful chemicals in tobacco and 40+ known components that are responsible for causing cancer.
• Poisons in tobacco include arsenic, cyanide, formaldehyde (which is used to preserve dead bodies), and ammonia bromide (the main agent used in toilet cleaner).
• Approximately 7,400 Alabama adults die each year from their own smoking, and more than 820 Alabama adults nonsmokers die each year from secondhand smoke..
• Over time, being around secondhand smoke can cause chronic lung problems, lung cancer and heart disease in non-smoking adults and lung and ear infections, asthma and Sudden infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in children.
• People who use smokeless tobacco are 50 times more likely to get cancer of the cheek and gums.
• Secondhand smoke kills 40,000 people every year.
• 76.8% of Alabamians DON’T smoke
• Smokefree policies encourage smokers to quit and discourage youth from starting.