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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jay Lynch, Communications Director
(302) 540-4979, Cell

Date: May 16, 2011


Delaware's Division of Public Health (DPH) in partnership with the Delaware City Council and the American Lung Association will announce the enactment of a smoke-free zone within the parks of Delaware City on May 16. An event will be held at the waterfront on the 100 block of Clinton Street at 9:30 a.m.

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in Delaware and the country. Nearly 1,100 Delawareans die as a result of smoking each year. Since 2002, Delaware has been at the forefront in enacting comprehensive smoke-free laws that apply to workplaces, restaurants, bars and casinos. Since then, jurisdictions across the country have passed laws prohibiting smoking in certain outdoor areas where people gather, due to the evidence that secondhand smoke does not dissipate quickly outdoors.

Through a contract with the American Lung Association, DPH awarded $10,000 mini grants to Delaware City and seven other municipalities to implement smoke-free zones. These grants were funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to reduce tobacco use and decrease exposure to secondhand smoke. Other grantees include Bethany Beach, Dover, Georgetown, Milton, New Castle, Seaford and Smyrna receiving $2,095 - $10,000.

Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director congratulated the municipalities. "No level of exposure to secondhand smoke is safe. Delaware City's decision is a step in the right direction, affirming the public's right to breathe clean air."

DPH's Tobacco Prevention and Control Program works with health care organizations, coalitions, youth and community groups to prevent the use of tobacco products in Delaware. For more information call 302-744-1010 or toll free at 1-800-297-5926.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.