Tobacco-Free Outdoors

Tobacco litter is poisonous and puts children, pets, wildlife and our community at risk. Our exposure to secondhand smoke in outdoor spaces can be hazardous including, places of business.

Tobacco free policies reduce secondhand smoke exposure and eliminate cigarette butts so everyone shop, breathe, eat and play in clean air. Support for tobacco free policies is growing.

The following businesses are dedicated to being smoke-free through implementing comprehensive policies that ban use of all tobacco products including but not limited to e-cigarettes, vapes, and hookahs. These policies are enacted to create a healthy environment, protect the health of customers and employees and model behavior for youth:

Henry Kaufman Camp Ground (March 2015)
Everything Goes Book Café and Neighborhood Stage (April 2015)
New York Surgical Associates (April 2015)
Lighting World (May 2015)
Valpak (June 2015)
The Law Offices of Jennifer Cutrona (November 2015)
Project-One Services Smoke-Free Policy (October 2015)
Salmon Real Estate (December 2015)
Tom Crimmins Realty (January 2016)
Eden II Smoke-Free Policy (February 2016)
Camelot Counseling (2016)
Seaman’s Society (September 2016)
Scaran (December 2016)
Neighborhood Housing Services Staten Island (February 2017)
JCC Community Health Insurance Program (June 2017)
St. George Theatre (September 2017)
Island Auto Group (September 2017)
Gateway Arms Realty Corp. (December 2017)
Electrical Distributors (November 2017)
Meals on Wheels (January 2018)
Children at Play (February 2018)

Impact on Youth:

· Tobacco use in family‐friendly places models unhealthy behavior and normalizes the use of tobacco. When children see adults smoking, they see smoking as acceptable.1
· Discarded cigarette butts contain the tars absorbed by the filter and levels of bacteria from smoker’s mouths and lungs, thus posing a health hazard to small children who routinely tend to pick up items off the ground and place them in their mouths. This can also lead to children being poisoned due to the ingestion of cigarette butts.

Health Impact:

· The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has classified secondhand smoke as a Class A Carcinogen placing it in the same category as radon, benzene, and asbestos.2
· Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 substances, over 40 of which are known to cause cancer in humans and many of which are strong irritants.
· The Surgeon General has declared that there is no safe level of secondhand smoke.3
· United States Courts have declared that there is no legal “right to smoke” and smoking is not a protected activity under the U.S. Constitution.
· People should not be forced to walk through a wall of smoke when entering public buildings. It can trigger allergies, asthma attacks and other breathing problems.

Environmental Impact:

· Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter.
· Nearly all cigarette butts are made up of plastic like cellulose acetate fibers and can take decades to decompose.4
· Within an hour of contact with water, cigarette butts can begin leaching chemicals such as cadmium, lead and arsenic into the marine environment. Cigarette butts have been found in the stomachs of fish, whales, birds and other marine animals, leading to ingestion of hazardous chemicals and digestive blockages.
· Cigarette butts not properly extinguished can cause fires.

By implementing these tobacco-free outdoor policies visitors and employees are protected from the dangers of second-hand smoke.

It is estimated that for every smoker that successfully quits, an employer can save $5,816 annually due to reduced absenteeism, increased productivity, and decreased healthcare costs.5

People should not be forced to walk through a wall of smoke when entering public buildings. It can trigger allergies, asthma attacks and other breathing problems. Tobacco Free Staten Island will work with your business or organization to customize an entryway smoking policies conducive to your area.

Contact Ashley Zanatta, Community Engagement Manager, to implement a smoke-free policy for your business. We provide free signage and technical assistance.