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North Shore- LIJ Health System Helps Community Organizations in Queens Establish Smoke- Free Outdoor Air Policies

May 6, 2011

Rick Lewis, Samuel Field Y; Yvette Jackson-Buckner, Queens Smoke-Free Partnership; Nancy Copperman, MS, North Shore-LIJ; Laura Greenblatt,Deepdale Cares NORC; Steven Goodman, Samuel Field Y; Cathy Cahn, SNAP; and Jeri Mendelsohn, Samuel Field Y

Media Contact:  Michelle Pinto
516) 465-2649 (Cell) 917-327-3898

GREAT NECK, NY -- Tobacco kills more New Yorkers annually than AIDS, drugs, homicide and suicide combined. Each year in the United States, second- hand smoke exposure is responsible for 150,000–300,000 new cases of bronchitis and pneumonia in children aged less than 18 months. This results in 7,500–15,000 hospitalizations every year.

“There is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure,” said Nancy Copperman, MS,RD,CDN, director of public health initiatives at the North Shore-LIJ Health System. “Just 30 minutes of exposure to second hand smoke can increase risk of blood clots and can lead to more frequent asthma attacks in asthmatic children.”

To combat this health hazard, the North Shore- LIJ Health System funded by a grant from the Queens Smoke-Free Partnership, has worked with community organizations to educate the public about the dangers of second-hand smoke and to establish and implement Smoke Free Outdoor Air Policies that prohibit smoking both inside and on the grounds of their facilities. “Smoke-free outdoor air policies promote a cleaner, safer environment and help reduce exposure to secondhand smoke,” said Yvette Jackson-Buckner, borough manager for the Queens Smoke-Free Partnership . “We are thrilled that these agencies are leading the way in Queens by implementing policies to help protect their employees and residents.”

To show their commitment to promoting public health in the communities they serve, the following Queens community organizations have voluntarily established Smoke Free Outdoor Policies: the Central Queens Y at 67-09 109th Street, Forest Hills, the Samuel Field Y at 58-20 Marathon Parkway, Little Neck, the Deepdale Cares NORC at 57-17 Marathon Parkway, Little Neck and the SNAP Senior Center at 80-45 Winchester Blvd, Queens.

Smoke Free Outdoor Air Policies have been shown to:

  • Protect people, especially children, from exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Encourage cessation from tobacco use
  • Honor employees, customers’ and visitors’ right to breathe clean air
  • Set an example for the youth of our community
  • Decrease tobacco litter and related hazards associated with discarded cigarette butts – fire, accidental ingestion by children, hazards to wildlife
  • Reduce environmental toxicity and facilitate the preservation of land and water for conservational and recreational purposes

tf you would like more information on how your organization can establish Smoke Free Outdoor Air Policies, contact Ms. Copperman at 516-465-3180 or ncopper@nshs.edu.

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