All College Dorms in New York State Now Smoke Free

Dangerous Secondhand Smoke Outlawed in Dormitories and Residence Halls

ALBANY, NY (07/08/2008)(readMedia)-- The American Lung Association of New York applauded Governor Paterson today for signing legislation which protects college students across the state from deadly secondhand smoke. Smoking is now prohibited in all dormitories on State University campuses, and in all dormitories and other group residential facilities of private colleges and universities in New York.

Also passed during the 2008 New York State Legislative Session was a crucial measure raising the excise tax on cigarettes by $1.25. Signed into law in April, and implemented on June 3, 2008, the total tobacco tax of $2.75 is the highest tax nationwide and makes New York State the national public health leader in tobacco taxation. This increase will eventually save the lives of over 77,000 youth who will be prevented from becoming smokers, and save more then 37,000 adult New Yorkers from a tobacco-caused death by helping them quit.

Quick facts about second hand smoke:

-- Secondhand smoke is responsible for 54,000 deaths each year in the United States.

-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies secondhand smoke as a "Group A" known carcinogen.

-- There is no safe level of exposure to "Group A" carcinogens like secondhand tobacco smoke.

-- The "Group A" category is reserved for the most dangerous cancer-causing chemicals, and includes such toxins as benzene and asbestos.

-- Exposure to secondhand smoke during everyday activities can lead to a much higher lifetime risk of lung cancer.

-- Secondhand smoke has also been scientifically linked to causing dozens of diseases and illnesses including asthma, heart disease, respiratory tract infections and ear infections.