Posted April 1, 2015
As of December 17th, 2014 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.
Burlington’s prevention coalition, the Burlington Partnership for a Healthy Community (BPHC) has been working since 2007 to address the causes and consequences of substance abuse. Director Mariah Sanderson expressed the coalition’s enthusiasm for the new ordinance, “Our coalition strongly supports efforts 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.”
BPHC partnered with local youth to thank the City of Burlington and the Marketplace for the new ordinance on March 18th for National Kick Butts Day. Students from Hunt and Edmunds Middle Schools involved in VKAT decorated the lamp posts on Church Street with ribbons and notes the students wrote about why they choose not to smoke. The messages also thanked the Church Street Marketplace and the City of Burlington for going smoke-free!
At the same time, teens from Burlington High School’s Students Taking Action and Risks Together (START) and OVX visited businesses along Church Street asking them to put a decal in their store window (created by the Burlington Partnership for a Healthy Community) that says, “Breathe Easy. Smoke-Free Zone.” They were met with overwhelming enthusiasm from merchants who agreed to display the bright decal and show their support for a smoke free Marketplace.
According to the Surgeon General’s Report, “There is NO risk free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.” 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 offers support to businesses and organization that want to increase cessation support for their employees, improve company tobacco policy, and promote community events and spaces as smoke-free zones. We offer the use of FREE resources including:
- Smoke-free event signs
- “Breathe Easy. Smoke-Free Zone.” window decals
- “Smoke Free Near Me” buttons
- Cessation brochures and tools
- Individual and group cessation support through www.802quits.org
To learn more about The Burlington Partnership for a Healthy Community, their projects, and ways to support health and wellness in Burlington visit www.burlingtonpartnership.org.
Related Category: Church Street Marketplace