Monday, October 28, 2013

4 Prominent Bronx Organizations Adopt Smoke-Free Outdoor Air Policies

We are proud to announce the newest additions to the growing list of organizations dedicated to reducing exposure to deadly secondhand smoke and improving the health of Bronx residents.  The Bronx YMCA, the Mary Mitchell Family & Youth Center, Kingsbridge Heights Community Center and Archdiocese of New York Drug Abuse Prevention Program (ADAPP) signed smoke-free outdoor air policies this fall for their grounds and entryways.  Smoke-free policies protect the health of an organization’s members and employees.

Sharlene Brown, the Executive Director of the Bronx YMCA, commented, “The Bronx YMCA is proud to declare the outdoor space of our facility as a ‘clean air zone.’  Through the Smoke-Free Outdoor Air Policy, the Bronx Y aims to improve the health of our members.”   Ms. Brown went on to point out that, “As people enjoy the health benefits of smoke-free areas indoors, it is only natural that the Bronx YMCA would want our members to enjoy those same benefits in our outdoor areas, especially as this is where our members gather during the spring and summer months.”

Charmaine Ruddock, Director of Bronx Health REACH, noted that “The commitment to create smoke-free environments demonstrates to the employees, the people who use their services and to the Bronx community at large the priority these organizations place on their health and wellness.”

Even brief exposure to secondhand smoke is harmful to individuals, causing changes in the upper airways and prompting more frequent asthma attacks in children with asthma.  Joanne Timmins, Community Organizer for the Throggs Neck Community Action Partnership, a program under the auspice of ADAPP, remarked, “I appreciate the commitment and concern of my workplace to protect me from the harms of second-hand smoke.” 

By adopting outdoor air policies, these four organizations are being leaders in the Bronx community,” said Lisa Spitzner, Borough Manager of the Bronx Smoke-Free Partnership, which is part of the NYC Coalition for a Smoke-Free City.  “Their decision to go smoke-free demonstrates their commitment to the health and safety of their staff and the many community members who enjoy their facilities.  We hope they will serve as shining examples to all their Bronx neighbors.”  

The Bronx YMCA, the Mary Mitchell Family & Youth Center, Kingsbridge Heights Community Center and ADAPP join Montefiore Hospital, CUNY, and the Riverdale YMCA in adopting a smoke-free outdoor air policy for their grounds and entryways.  In addition to the many health benefits, smoke-free entryway and grounds reduce cigarette litter and fire hazards.  The Partnership for a Healthier Bronx and Bronx Smoke-Free Partnership provide free support and technical assistance to organizations interested in adopting smoke-free policies for their grounds and entryways. This includes providing free smoking cessation services for members and staff as well as developing personalized signage and materials. 

For more information, please visit or contact Emma Rodgers at or (212) 633-0800 x1249

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