Staff Help Defeat Hookah Smoking Proposal
Clinical staff from GLFHC joined with 60 members of the community to show their disapproval over a proposal that would have allowed hookah smoking in bars, nightclubs and restaurants in Lawrence.
They achieved their goal: The Board of Health removed from consideration the proposal by bar and restaurant owners that would have permitted hookah smoking in their establishments.
“The goal of public health is to prevent, promote, and protect,” GLFHC Pharmacy Resident Neiloofar Jafari said. “What the board is considering is the polar opposite. In order to prevent fires, smoking related death and disability, promote healthy lifestyles, and protect the city from all adverse outcomes, this proposal needs to be stopped right now.”
All the anti-smoking advocates who packed the Board of Health meeting in January were armed with data about the dangers of tobacco addiction and the fire hazard hookah smoking causes.
“According to NIH (the National Institutes of Health), besides the health care costs of treating injured or burn victims, direct property damaged from fires induced by tobacco has been valued at U.S. $552 million per year,” GLFHC Pharmacy Resident Cassandra Fisher said. “That figure will prove true in Lawrence if the board decides to further consider this regulation and will cause the establishments to have losses in economics, not profits.”
Ashley Hall, GLFHC’s Program Manager for the Northeast Tobacco Free Community Partnership, said the state considers Lawrence a priority community because of its high smoking prevalence. She was please that instead of relaxing existing regulations, the board took a preventative step to reduce smoking in the city.
Also attending the meeting were GLFHC’s Dr. Olayinka Edwards, pharmacy student Kelli Sims, Infection Control nurse Lucy Thanos, and Clinical Pharmacist Alicia Mam DaCunha.
Read more about the meeting in the local news: