Letter to the editor: Breathing easy in Hancock County

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To the editor:

More than one in five Indiana adults smoke cigarettes (21.5%), one of the highest rates in the nation, while the number of youth using vaping products remains a concern for everyone. Secondhand smoke is estimated to cause over 1,300 deaths among Hoosiers each year, and about one in four nonsmokers nationwide is exposed to secondhand smoke.

Strong smoke-free-air laws protect more than workers; they protect all residents from secondhand smoke in public places. We are grateful that Hancock County has had a strong smoke-free air law with comprehensive language in place since 2009 and has aided in a healthier community to live, work, and play.

With COVID-19 being a serious respiratory virus and having shown the potential of long-term effects on the lungs, it has highlighted the public need for smoke-free air across the world. The pandemic has also made point of the ever-present dangers of secondhand smoke. Thankfully, we live in a community where our smoke-free air law allows all residents, workers, and visitors to breathe easy in our workplaces and public places. If you have questions or want to get involved in our coalition’s efforts, visit the Hancock County Tobacco Free Coalition on Facebook. Let’s do our part to keep our community smoke-free!

Brandee Bastin

Greenfield

Brandee Bastin is coordinator of the Hancock County Tobacco Free Coalition