Non-Smokers Speak Out in Favor of a Smoking Ban

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Former bartender Tim Vaske says one of the reasons he quit his part-time job at a Haymarket pub was because of second-hand smoke.

Vaske says the Lincoln City Council should pass a smoking ban to protect others like him, who are at risk every day on the job.

Lincoln/Lancaster county health officials say Vaske's fears are well founded. The health department says there are more than 30,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke alone and that the air inside a smoking establishment can be up to 1,000 times as polluted as outside air.

The city council hopes to have a polished smoking ban compromise ready to vote on during their Dec. 15 meeting. Extended Web Coverage

Overview of Tobacco Use

  • Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, causing more than 400,000 deaths each year and resulting in an annual cost of more than $50 billion in direct medical costs.

  • Each year, smoking kills more people than AIDS, alcohol, drug abuse, car crashes, murders, suicides, and fires combined.

  • Nationally, smoking results in more than 5 million years of potential life lost each year.

  • Approximately 80 percent of adult smokers started smoking before the age of 18. Every day, nearly 3,000 young people under the age of 18 become regular smokers.

  • More than 5 million children living today will die prematurely because of a decision they will make as adolescents, the decision to smoke cigarettes.

  • Approximately 10 million people in the United States have died from smoking-attributable causes. Two million of those deaths, more than the population of Houston, have been from lung cancer alone.

  • American smokers have consumed 17 trillion cigarettes. If laid end to end, those cigarettes would cover 900 million miles (a distance long enough to circle the Earth and Jupiter in certain alignments) or circle the earth at the equator more than 36,000 times.

  • Almost two million Americans have not died from smoking-attributable diseases as a result of decisions they have made to not start or to discontinue smoking.

  • About 48 million American adults smoke, but approximately 42 million more would have smoked without smoking prevention activities.

    Source: (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).