There’s no room for secondhand smoke at your next conference or event. That’s the message county health experts and cancer-prevention organizations are sharing with the ongoing Smoke Free Meetings project.
Launched in Washoe County several years ago, and now expanding statewide, the project encourages businesses and organizations to adopt a smoke free meetings policy and provides a directory of smoke free meeting and events facilities.
“The realities of the health dangers of smoking are common knowledge, and per the U.S. Surgeon General, we also know there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke,” said Cari Herington, executive director of Nevada Cancer Coalition. “When looking at where non-smokers are often exposed to indoor secondhand smoke, meeting and event facilities were near the top of the list. By creating a list of smoke free meeting facilities and educating businesses about the benefits of clean indoor air for their attendees we are helping to reduce the health impact of secondhand smoke on Nevadans.”
Nearly 10 years ago Nevadans passed the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act, which eliminated smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke from many indoor locations, with a few exemptions. The problem is that the majority of Nevada’s square footage for meeting and event space falls within facilities that are exempt from the law and allow smoking within some area of the building. By sharing a ventilation system, secondhand smoke is able to drift into meeting spaces, and meeting attendees often need to walk through the smoking areas to reach meeting spaces.
With 85 percent of Washoe County residents identifying as non-smokers and a growing number that want to protect themselves from secondhand smoke, adopting a smoke free meetings policy and hosting events only in smoke free locations is a logical step.
To review the list of smoke free meeting and event venues in Washoe County and throughout the state, or to sign a smoke free meetings policy for an organization or business, visit SmokeFreeMeetings.org.