(Blackwood, NJ) – Tobacco Free for a Healthy New Jersey (TFHNJ) recently donated 500 Breathe Easy signs to the Camden County Health Department in order to provide residents with smoke-free air in public green spaces. The goal of the donation is to distribute Breathe Easy signs to all 36 municipalities and in every park across Camden County, free of charge. These are metal signs that include the updated Smoke Free Air Act information and a no-marijuana symbol on them.
“Secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard that causes a variety of diseases, such as heart disease and various cancers, and an estimated 41,000 deaths among adults in this country each year, according to the CDC,” said Commissioner Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services. “In 2006, New Jersey put a stop to smoking indoors, but it took more than 10 years for public outdoor spaces to be included in this ban. When you’re out enjoying nature, the last thing you want is to be bombarded by smoke from cigarettes, marijuana or electronic vapes. With these signs and through our partnership with TFHNJ, our residents can breathe easier while they spend time outdoors.”
Municipalities interested in receiving signage should fill out an online form at: Tobacco Free Signs (wufoo.com)
Kim Burns, TFHNJ’s Southern Regional Coordinator, discussed the importance of the Breathe Easy campaign.
“We are excited to partner with Camden County Department of Health and Human Services on the Breathin’ Easy campaign,” Burns said. “The donation of 500 signs from Tobacco Free for a Healthy NJ will continue to bring awareness to the importance of protecting all residents from secondhand smoke, while also protecting the environment from tobacco product litter. We congratulate Camden County on spearheading this effort for the health of their residents.”
The county has been partnering with TFHNJ since 2012 to provide Camden County residents with tobacco education materials and resources.
“TFHNJ has been a tremendous partner to Camden County, working hand-in-hand with our staff to launch initiatives to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents for approximately 10 years,” Rodriguez continued. “These initiatives include: performing tobacco point of sale audits to keep businesses that sell tobacco products from being near schools and other locations in which youth congregate; providing outreach to housing authorities, property managers and HUD housing properties by holding workshops and forums during the transition to smoke free housing; and implementing training and guidance on how to develop an outdoor smoke free initiative in municipalities before the state passed its Tobacco Free Parks and Beaches Law.”