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Getting the Smoke Out of Vermont

by Tina Z. on Friday, June 6, 2014

There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Even a short amount of exposure increases a person’s risk of heart attack, stroke and lung cancer by 20-30%.

But, as of July 1st, Vermonters will have more protections from secondhand smoke. Vermont, a leader in its commitment to clean air, decided to strengthen its smoking laws. Thanks to action by state legislators, leaders, and public health, a new law will take effect providing more places where people can breathe freely.

On July 1, Vermont will prohibit smoking in vehicles in the presence of kids required to sit in a car or booster seat (basically under the age of 8). Under the law, drivers can be stopped and fined up to $100.00 each time they are caught smoking while a child is riding in the car with them.

The law also bans smoking within 25 feet of a state building and designated areas of state parks. It eliminates all smoking in hotels, including hotel rooms, protecting workers and guests from the impact of secondhand smoke. It also prohibits e-cigarettes and vaping at schools, school functions and licensed day cares and requires liquid nicotine cartridges for e-cigarettes to be child-proofed.

Thanks to legislators who went to bat for this important law. Representatives Bill Frank, Jill Krowinski, Ann Pugh, Anne Donahue and Patti Komline and Senators Claire Ayer, Ginny Lyons and John Campbell.

Not only will this law protect non-smokers, it will help smokers. 10-20% of smokers quit smoking as a result of smoke-free legislation in their workplace.

For more information about quitting smoking, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit http://802quits.org/

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