Creating Smoke-Free Zones

The facts are clear, secondhand smoke is dangerous. Our coalition works to educate the Burlington community about the significant health risks of exposure to secondhand smoke. We created visuals to emphasis what the research tells us – that even breathing in secondhand smoke for a short period of time has an immediate negative health impact. For this reason, we work with local businesses and the community to increase the areas in Burlington that are designated as “smoke-free zones”.

Smoke-Free Events and Public Spaces
project-bphc_smokefree-sign1According to the Surgeon General’s Report, “There is NO risk free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.” For this reason, BPHC is supporting the Burlington community to promote community events and major public spaces as smoke free zones. We offer the use of smoke-free event signs as part of a comprehensive prevention plan to encourage health in Burlington. Event organizers interested in borrowing the signs or who would like support to create a smoke free policy please contact us today!

Tobacco-Free Campuses
Work sites, housing complexes, and college campuses across the country have recognized that tobacco or smoke free policies are necessary to protect the public health of their employees, patrons, guests, residents, and students. In light of the 2006 Surgeon General’s Report, which concluded that smoke free policies are the only effective way of eliminating the risks associated with secondhand smoke, the need for a smoke free campus policy has become clear.

College and university campuses: More than 2000 colleges in the US are now smoke-free. BPHC works with colleges in our area to expand their smoke free policies to support the health of their communities. We also help to coordinate the Tobacco Free College Campus Initiative for Vermont and support campuses across the state to join the movement!

Smoke-Free Worksites and Multi-unit Housing: Smoke-free policies are not just a smart health decision;they are also smart for business. Studies have shown that a smoke-free policy can save landlords anywhere from two to seven times on the turnover costs of units. Landlords may also be able to save on property casualty insurance and will significantly reduce the risk of fire hazards. Plus, residents want to live in a smokefree environment (only 17% of Vermonters smoke and only 13% of Chittenden County residents!), making smoke-free units more marketable than ever!  Reducing smoking at worksites can reduce health insurance costs as well as improve the health of our community.  Our staff can help provide support and resources for worksites and multi-unit housing to explore policy improvement. Some examples of support include:

  • Free signage
  • Removable window decals that say “Breathe Easy. Smoke-Free Zone.”
  • Cessation support for tenants or staff through 802Quits.
  • Sample policies, Toolkits, and other resources that outline the steps to implementing smoke or tobacco-free policies.


The Center for Disease Control recommends remaining 25 feet from secondhand smoke to avoid health consequences. But it can be hard to ask someone to stop smoking around you. Now you can Breathe Easy! Wear this button to show your support or show that you want to be smoke-free without having to say a word!

Burlington residents can pick up FREE Smoke Free Near Me buttons at our office during business hours. Or contact us and we will drop some off for you!

project-bphc_smokefree-decalStick this FREE removable decal on your Burlington business to show your support for smoke-free zones!

Contact us with your address to have us drop off or mail a decal to you.

Chalk the message! We use non-toxic washable spray chalk (that washes away in the rain or with a little soap and water) to help educate the community about the health risks of exposure to secondhand smoke. To show your support, sign up to volunteer with us and help chalk stencil at more locations around Burlington OR call us to chalk at your business location! Contact us if you would like to help support us. We receive permission before chalking at any business or public property.

The Facts about Secondhand Smoke
Secondhand smoke is the smoke given off by a burning tobacco product and the smoke exhaled by a smoker.

“Among the more than 7,000 chemicals that have been identified in secondhand tobacco smoke, at least 250 are known to be harmful, for example, hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, and ammonia. At least 69 of the toxic chemicals in secondhand tobacco smoke cause cancer”

“When nonsmokers breathe secondhand smoke, platelets in their blood get sticky and may form clots, just as they do in people who smoke. Even spending time in a smoky room could trigger a heart attack in vulnerable populations. Do not allow anyone to smoke anywhere in or near your home, and don’t allow anyone to smoke in your car (even with the window down).”

“Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome, ear infections, colds, pneumonia, bronchitis, and more severe asthma. Being exposed to secondhand smoke slows the growth of children’s lungs and can cause them to cough, wheeze, and feel breathless.”

“Exposure to secondhand smoke irritates the airways and has immediate harmful effects on a person’s heart and blood vessels. Even low levels of exposure, including exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke, can trigger acute cardiovascular events such as heart attacks.”

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