American Cancer, Heart Associations Applaud Tyler For Going Smoke-Free

The American Cancer Society and The American Heart Association have released a press statement congratulating Tyler and its City Council for going smoke free. The press release reads as follows:

The American Cancer Society and American Heart Association  applaud the mayor and city council of Tyler for standing up for public health and voting to become a smoke-free community.  The vote was unanimous for a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance which becomes effective June 1, 2008.

Julie Kerns, Tyler cardiac nurse and longtime American Heart Association volunteer said, "We are so proud the leaders of this city have taken the necessary steps to make Tyler a better place to live and work by passing a strong, comprehensive clean indoor air ordinance.  It says a lot to the rest of East Texas and to the state that every city should be taking initiative and passing strong clean indoor air measures like the City of Tyler."

Tyler joins 2,300 communities, 22 states, and an increasing number of countries in clearing the air.  From New York City to Houston, from Arizona to Montana, from the pubs of England and Ireland to the cafes of France - Tyler city council representatives join a large contingent of elected officials who have chosen to protect the public health.

"The Tyler City Council is to be commended for taking such strong action on this important public health issue.  Local workers and the public will be able to breathe easier when this law goes into effect.  Our children and grandchildren will grow up in a place with clean indoor air and less disease. By voting unanimously for a smoke-free Tyler, the council has essentially made Tyler a better place to live," said Todd Sigmon, MHA, American Cancer Society board member and administrative director of the ETMC Cancer Institute and Breast Care Center.


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About 50 percent of America is smoke-free right now, and Tyler will be breathing easier as part of that half of the nation that has heard the leading health authorities and decided to take action.  The U. S. Surgeon General, the Centers for Disease Control, the American Cancer Society, the American Medical Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and a host of other organizations support smoke-free communities.

The health dangers of secondhand smoke are undeniable.  Exposure to the 4,000 chemicals in secondhand smoke kills 53,000 Americans every year, according to the National Cancer Institute.  Cancer, heart disease, chronic asthma, bronchitis, low birth weight - the diseases and medical conditions caused by secondhand smoke are unnecessary burdens on our society.

According to the June 2006 report of the U. S. Surgeon General, "scientific evidence indicates there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke." Many times the debate during the ordinance process is who should be protected and who shouldn't and in what locations.  The American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association believe that everyone should be protected in public places - everyone has the right to breathe clean air.


About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. Founded in 1913 and with national headquarters in Atlanta, the Society has 13 regional Divisions and local offices in 3,400 communities, involving millions of volunteers across the United States. For more information anytime, call toll free 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit

About the American Heart Association

Founded in 1924, the American Heart Association today is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to reducing disability and death from diseases of the heart and stroke. These diseases, America's No. 1 and No. 3 killers, and all other cardiovascular diseases claim over 870,000 lives a year. In fiscal year 2005-06 the association invested over $543 million in research, professional and public education, advocacy and community service programs to help all Americans live longer, healthier lives. To learn more, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit

Cathryn Khalil, reporting.