July 1 Marks Seven Years of Smoke-free Air in Terre Haute and Vigo County

Seven Years of Smoke-free Air in Terre Haute and Vigo County

Terre Haute, Indiana — July 1, 2019 marks seven years since smoke-free air laws for public places went
into effect at the state and local levels. Chances and Services for Youth (CASY) is launching a public
awareness campaign to celebrate the anniversary and invites Vigo County residents to celebrate, too.
The “We Love Smokefree Vigo” campaign highlights the benefits of smoke-free air for all workers in Vigo
County. “Smoke-free air has had a positive impact on our community,” said Libby Ray, Vigo County
Tobacco Prevention & Cessation Coordinator. “We know from various studies that our smoke-free air
laws are helping people breathe easier and, in some cases, quit smoking.”

While Indiana’s statewide smoke-free air law provides an exemption for bars, private clubs, and casinos,
the local ordinances passed in 2011 by the Terre Haute City Council and Vigo County Commissioners are
comprehensive in nature and pertain to all public indoor spaces. Locally, these laws resulted in a
dramatic decline in indoor air pollution, according to a study co-authored by Professor Mark Krahling of
the University of Southern Indiana. Air samples taken in nine bars and restaurants throughout Vigo
County before and after the smoke-free air laws went effect showed significant results.

“Before the law, restaurant and bar workers in Vigo County were exposed to harmful levels of secondhand smoke,” said
Dr. Khrahling when the study was first reported five years ago. “Air quality has significantly improved in
the venues that are now smoke-free, which will protect the health of both workers and patrons.”

Another study conducted by Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health found a
decrease in hospital admissions for acute heart attacks following the enactment of a smoke-free air
ordinance in Indianapolis. Researchers examined data from five major hospitals in the Indianapolis area
from 2007 to 2014 and discovered that acute heart attacks decreased for current and former smokers,
as well as nonsmokers, after Indianapolis began enforcing its own comprehensive smoke-free air law in

Anyone interested in learning more about the “We Love Smokefree Vigo” campaign and Vigo TPC is
encouraged to visit www.casyonline.org and look under Programs, Tobacco Prevention & Cessation.

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