Breathe Easy Hamilton County seeks smoke-free environment

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Stacy London has had a busy first 13 months as the Breathe Easy Hamilton County program coordinator.

London said Breathe Easy accomplished several things in 2018, including surveying 66 stores’ point of sales to collect data on how tobacco products are being marketed to youth, participated in 18 community events to promote Breathe Easy’s message and engaged with five different youth organizations.

Stacy London describes Breathe Easy Hamilton County’s mission at year-end meeting (Photo by Mark Ambrogi)

The organization held eight Schooling not Juuling presentations. Juuling is a form of vaping, using an e-cigarette resembling a flash drive. It can be charged in a laptop’s USB port.

“All the kids think e-cigarettes are safer, but safer does not mean safe,” London said during a Dec. 13 meeting at Westfield Washington Public Library. “I would love to get into the high schools to talk about this.”

London, a Westfield resident, lists the organization’s four priorities as decrease youth smoking rates; decrease exposure to secondhand smoke; decrease adult smoking rates; and build a coalition of community partners.

London’s organization, which is part of an alliance of area organizations and individuals, is aiming for smoke-free air in buildings.

“We are pushing in Hamilton County for every building to have no smoking or vaping,” London said. “There are lot of communities around that have done that, and I would really love to gather support for that and get that to happen in Hamilton County. Nowadays, everyone realizes how harmful secondhand smoke is. We want to protect all our workers in those buildings.”

The organization is pushing the state legislature for a $2 tax increase on tobacco products. London encouraged others to email support for the tax to their state representative and senator. The Raise It for Health day for Tobacco Free Indiana is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 30

London said she is willing to talk to groups about cessation.

“If you go to your doctor’s or dentist’s appointment, I would love for you to talk to them about 1-800-QUIT NOW and that you know someone that would love to come in to talk to them about it so they can refer their patients,” London said.

The organization meets the fourth Wednesday of every month at various sites. For more, visit breatheeasyhamiltoncounty.com.

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