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Tobacco-Free Living | Print |

Tobacco-Free Living

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Georgia Department of Health, over 12,000 deaths in Georgia each year are attributable to cigarette use and secondhand smoke. The adult smoking rate in Georgia is 17.4%, and in Fulton County it is 13%. Among certain population groups, such as those who are less-educated and those who live below the poverty line, it is much higher. The Georgia Dept. of Health also reports that more than 50,000 middle and high school students in the state say they use e-cigarettes and twice as many say they have tried them.   Decades of scientific research has shown conclusively that tobacco use and smoking cause serious damage throughout the body, ranging from heart disease, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease to lung and a host of other types of cancer. The Georgia Smoke Free Act allows indoor smoking in public venues that do not allow persons younger than age 18 years to enter. No municipality in Fulton County prohibits smoking in restaurants or bars that comply with the State law exemption.

The Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) Program is working with its Tobacco-Free Living Program partners to:

  • increase the number of jurisdictions with smoke-free parks
  • increase the number of bars and restaurants with comprehensive smoke-free policies
  • Increase the number of multi-unit housing developments with voluntary smoke-free policies
  • Increase the number of faith-based organizations with tobacco-free campus policies

The goals of the PICH Program are:

  • collecting public health data, taking opinion surveys, and performing air quality tests that can be used as resources by officials and business owners as they consider smoke-free ordinances, and as  a baseline for targeted prevention efforts    
  • conducting public information and education campaigns through paid and earned media to discourage people, especially school-age children and teens, from starting the habit by warning them about the serious health dangers
  • promoting websites and mobile apps designed for teen smokers, as well as the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line 1-877-270-7867, to help smokers of all ages quit

Success Stories

PICH's Tobacco/Smoke-Free Living Program develops strategies aimed at people who smoke, those exposed to it and the establishments that permit it. The Program funded air quality and public opinion studies by Georgia State University that documents the local impact of and attitudes toward public smoking. It launched the Proud To Be Smoke Free Fulton Campaign and the new Smoke-Free Atlanta Coalition with community partners. Their outreach is supported by paid and free advertisements that warned of secondhand smoke’s hazard and promoted the Georgia Quit Line to help smokers kick the habit. PICH also shared survey and research data with the County Board of Commissioners, which voted in 2016 to ban smoking in parks. The efforts of the coalition partners are also leading many bars and restaurants to go smoke-free. During 2016, 25 bars and restaurants in Fulton County adopted no smoking policies.

Read More

Smoke-Free Atlanta Night Out Video

Proud To Be Smoke Free Fulton Campaign Materials

Printable Tobacco-Free Living Fact Sheet


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