Mississippi Leads the Nation in Passing Municipal Smokefree Air Ordinances


Jackson, MS – Mississippi ranks first in the passing of comprehensive municipal smokefree air ordinances in 2014. Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights designated Mississippi as the 2014 first place winner of the Smokefree Challenge national award. The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) Office of Tobacco Control and the Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalitions congratulate the 14 cities who have joined the initiative.

On Tuesday, June 23, the 14 Mississippi cities that passed comprehensive smokefree ordinances in 2014 were honored by the MSDH, the Mississippi Public Health Association and Smokefree Mississippi partners. “The smokefree air policies implemented by these cities will protect all employees and customers in businesses and other public places from the harmful effects of breathing secondhand smoke,” said Roy Hart, director of the Office of Tobacco Control at MSDH. “There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.”

Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalitions, Smokefree Mississippi partners and individuals from local communities were instrumental in the passing of these ordinances. Through their efforts, 101 Mississippi communities have passed smokefree air ordinances, of which 51 communities have included regulations for e-cigarettes to protect the health of their citizens. The Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalitions are funded by a grant from MSDH.

Annually, Mississippi spends $1.23 billion on healthcare costs associated with tobacco use. The goal of the Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalitions is to improve the health of all Mississippians through sharing important data and educating communities on tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke.

To learn more about the Tobacco-Free Coalitions visit, http://www.tobaccofreems.org. For more information on smokefree air ordinances and tobacco prevention programs, call the MSDH Office of Tobacco Control at 601-991-6050 or visit www.healthyms.com/tobacco.

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