Tobacco-Free Communities

Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of disease, disability and premature death. Seven Mainers die each day from a tobacco-related illness. One of the seven is a non-smoker, who dies because of exposure to secondhand smoke. Tobacco smoke has over 4000 chemicals. Over 60 of them are known to cause cancer in people. Children are especially at risk from the dangers of secondhand smoke because their lungs are still growing. Because of its highly addictive qualities, tobacco can be very difficult to quit, often taking several attempts.

Fortunately, many opportunities exist to build communities that support tobacco-free living, including raising awareness about the dangers of tobacco use, helping people to quit, and preventing exposure to secondhand smoke.

Healthy Acadia is involved in multiple initiatives building tobacco-free communities, including:

Municipal policies
Smoke-free housing
Smoke-free lodging
Confident Conversations
Maine Tobacco Helpline

Municipal Policies and Sample Ordinances

Healthy Acadia works with towns throughout the region to develop polices to promote tobacco-free communities. Municipal policies can cover a range of topics, including the sale, distribution and consumption of tobacco products. Such policies can have long-term, significant impacts in reducing access to tobacco as well as reducing exposure to second-hand smoke. Policies also help raise awareness about the dangers of smoking and the importance of tobacco-free communities. Specific policy topics include:

  • Governing tobacco sales and distribution to minors
  • Governing smoking in public places
  • Governing smoking at public events

Resources:

Public Law Center Smoke Free Laws in Outdoor Places
Review of Hancock County Municipal Tobacco Regulation
School Policies and Activities to Prevent Tobacco Use among Minors
State Laws Affecting Tobacco Sales, Possession and Use
Americans for non-Smokers Rights - Maps, ordinances, signs and more
Maine Centers for Disease Control
Partnership for a Tobacco Free Maine

For more information, contact:
Maria Donahue, maria@healthyacadia.org

Smoke-Free Housing

Living in a smoke-free home is healthy for you and your family. A smoke-free home protects you from the dangerous toxins contained in secondhand smoke, and it greatly reduces the risk of fires and damage to your home. Smoke-free housing is a growing trend across the state, with many homeowners and landlords, private and public, adopting no-smoking policies for their homes and buildings.

Healthy Acadia works on a number of initiatives to support the development of smoke-free homes, including providing resources to homeowners, working with housing sites to develop smoke-free policies, and increasing awareness about the importance of health homes.

Resources:
www.smokefreeforme.org
www.mainehousingsearch.org

For more information, contact:
Maria Donahue, maria@healthyacadia.org

Smoke-Free Lodging

Providing safe and healthy accommodations to the millions of folks who visit Downeast-Acadia each year is important for health and good for business. Healthy Acadia provides multiple resources for lodging owners to develop and maintain smoke-free lodging. We provide resources and technical assistance to lodging owners to develop workable policies and rules regarding tobacco use on their properties. We also provide education on the importance of smoke-free environments, helping to raise awareness and provide support for lodging owners to increase smoke-free spaces.

Resources:
Smoke-Free Lodging Brochure

For more information, contact:
Maria Donahue, maria@healthyacadia.org

Confident Conversations About Tobacco

Healthy Acadia provides “Confident Conversations Trainings” to health and social service providers, worksite wellness leaders and others. The training highlights the health effects of smoking and secondhand smoke, describes tobacco treatment and options, and offers a brief intervention framework for having conversations about tobacco cessation. The training helps providers, worksite wellness leaders and others to help their clients or staff in the quitting process.

The training is free of charge and available upon request.

Resources:
Confident Conversations About Tobacco Brochure

For more information, contact:
Maria Donahue, at maria@healthyacadia.org for more information or to schedule a training.

Maine Tobacco Helpline

One of the hardest things to do is to quit using tobacco. Quitting tobacco can be a challenging process and sometimes it takes more than one try. Healthy Acadia promotes the use of the Maine Tobacco HelpLine as an excellent resource to support people in the quitting process. Your call to the Maine Tobacco HelpLine can be an important first step to help you along the journey of quitting, or to help you support a loved one to become tobacco-free.

The Maine Tobacco HelpLine is a free service that answers your questions and offers friendly support to those who are thinking about quitting, who are ready to quit, or who want to help a friend or family member quit. The HelpLine offers support that can help you or those you love stay tobacco free for life.

Resources:
http://www.tobaccofreemaine.org/quit_tobacco/Maine_Tobacco_HelpLine.php
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFLAn7qsnjE

Vision
Our communities encourage and support lifestyles free from tobacco use and exposure. Adults model responsible behaviors and families learn the skills needed to raise strong, resilient, healthy children.
Tobacco free policies create healthier environments by reducing access to tobacco products and exposure to second-hand smoke.