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Denormalizing smoking: Making the case for banning cigarettes in parks and on beaches
Date:7/8/2013

uthor Kathleen E. Bachynski suggest that healthcare policymakers will need to make a stronger case with more conclusive evidence to gain the public trust. Likewise, advocates for smoking bans should be more candid about the limits of the arguments when interventions depend on weak evidence.

"Instead of relying on weak or contestable evidence of third party harms, public health officials should assert boldly that the challenge of tobacco related morbidity and mortality necessitates measures that will help smokers to limit their smoking and ultimately quit. Beach and park bans represent measures that contribute to those goals," said Dr. Bayer.

"Tobacco is the number-one preventable cause of death in the United States, but its impact is not limited to smokers. Research continues to grow on the negative impact of secondhand smoke as well as cigarettes' effect on the environment," said Cheryl G. Healton, DrPH, president and CEO of The American Legacy Foundation. "Secondhand smoke causes about 49,000 deaths per year in the U.S., while cigarette butts are the No. 1 littered item on U.S. roadways and the No. 1 item found during cleanup of beaches and waterways worldwide."


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Contact: Stephanie Berger
sb2247@columbia.edu
212-305-4372
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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