Published on January 2nd, 2015 | by Burlington Partnership0
A Victory for Public Health in Burlington
The Church Street Marketplace is now a SMOKE-FREE ZONE! Beginning Wednesday, December 17, smoking is no longer permitted in the Church Street Marketplace District. This includes the public right of way of Church Street between Pearl and Main Streets. It also includes the side streets immediately off of Church Street — Main, College, Bank, Cherry and Pearl Streets — where the sidewalk surface is bricked.
So, if you are on the bricks of Church Street or on the bricks of side streets — smoking is NOT permitted.
From our Director Mariah Sanderson, “BPHC is very enthusiastic about the smoking ban on Church Street and the positive impact we know it will have to support a vibrant, healthy downtown environment. Our coalition strongly supports efforts by our community to limit exposure of residents and visitors to secondhand smoke. Only 14% of Chittenden County residents and 17% of Vermonters smoke, yet 48% of people say they were exposed to secondhand smoke in the last 7 days (from the Vermont Adult Tobacco Survey). We need to take every measure to reduce this level of exposure and a smoking ban in the downtown area helps send a consistent message to our community about the individual and community consequences of smoking.”
Thousands of worksites, campuses, outdoor areas, housing complexes and more across our nation and state have created smoke free zones for their properties. More and more are making the smoke free commitment each day! Here in Vermont many of our college campuses are looking at stricter campus policies to prohibit smoking outdoors because they know that only 1% of smokers start after their 26th birthday and that the tobacco companies target messaging to get people started smoking as young as possible. Many Parks and Recreation areas in VT, including our own Burlington Parks and Rec. are limiting smoking on their properties to ensure visitors have a healthy experience and reduce the environmental impact of cigarette litter.
Even low levels of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke can lead heart disease and lung cancer in adults, to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and respiratory problems in children and to dementia in older adults. Infants, children and the elderly are extremely vulnerable to the negative effects of secondhand smoke. Smoke-free and tobacco-free policies have been proven to be an effective way to protect people from smoke, to prevent children from starting to smoke, and to encourage smokers to quit.
BPHC will continue to connect our community members who want to quit to the FREE resources in VT provided by 802Quits. We will help with promotion to ensure community members are aware of the changes.
Have you seen the new no smoking signs and banners BPHC provided the funding for on Church Street? Comment on our Facebook page or send us a message through our website to tell us what you think of them! See coverage of the press conference on the new smoking ban here.
Consequences for smoking on Church Street: Burlington Police Department will issue a warning for the first violation. Second violation is a $50 fine. Subsequent violations are a $100 fine.