Kudos to Rehoboth for smoking ban

March 14, 2014

Hats off to Rehoboth Commissioner Stan Mills and the board of commissioners for prohibiting smoking on the Boardwalk, parks, Bandstand and designated areas on the beach. The board voted unanimously to prohibit smoking, and as Mr. Mills noted, the goal of the ban is to “reduce litter, pollution and health risks.” Bravo!

Their decision to do so will make for a healthier and more enjoyable beach experience for residents and tourists alike, and the American Lung Association in Delaware is proud of the board’s vote.

Nearly 50,000 Americans die each year from lung cancer and heart disease, attributable to secondhand smoke. Lifelong nonsmokers who live with smokers have a 24 percent higher chance of contracting lung cancer.

Mr. Mills has previously noted that discarded butts create litter, pollute the environment and, if not fully extinguished, pose a significant threat of fire as well as risk of injury to barefoot members of the public. Smoking poses significant health risks not only to the smoker but to all, including children who inhale secondhand smoke. With 1,200 Delawareans dying each year from tobacco-related illnesses, and 700 Delaware teens become smokers each year, I am confident the law may encourage these youth to kick the deadly habit.

I hope other municipalities in Delaware will follow suit and enact stricter smoking laws -because smoking is optional, but breathing is not.

Deb Brown
American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic

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