Coming Out for the Summer

Encouraging Smoke-Free Protections

(Written by Vonetta Dudley, Reality Check/Youth Engagement Coordinator, Bronx) 

As warmer weather slowly rolls in, it’s important to encourage the increase and maintenance of smoke-free protections to ensure that every New Yorkers (and visitors) can enjoy outdoor public spaces such as parks, beaches and pedestrian plazas free from the dangers of secondhand smoke exposure. With over 15,000 apartments being covered by smoke-free protections and our partnership with NYCHA – we know that our work in housing has made an impact. Therefore, this summer we are surveying New Yorkers to find out about attitudes and thoughts adopting smoke-free policies where they work. Did you know employers can protect the health of their employees by adopting tobacco-free outdoor (TFO) air policies for their building grounds? Very soon we will learn what New Yorkers want when it comes to smoke-free workplaces. Not only do TFO policies protect by standers from harmful secondhand smoke, but the reduction in cigarette litter helps keep the environment clean and protects our four legged and feathered friends too! Here are some things you can do to sustain to help increase smoke-free protections where you live work and play:

  • If your work place doesn’t have a smoke-free policy, speak with your employer and/or human resources department to learn more on how you can make your space smoke-free. NYC Smoke-Free provides technical assistance to employers who are interested in adopting policies.  
  • Join with your friends, family members and colleagues to form a committee to discuss tobacco-free outdoor air solutions and partner with NYC Smoke-Free in your borough.
  • Tobacco product litter, such as cigarette butts, also poses a threat to our communities, youth and even pets. Partner with a local organization that sponsors community clean-up projects and make your neighborhood free of tobacco litter.


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