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FOR RELEASE: April 19, 2001
CONTACT: Dick Gunn

Local Forums Scheduled on Harmful Effects of Secondhand Tobacco Smoke

For every eight smokers the tobacco industry kills, one nonsmoker will also die from exposure to secondhand smoke. Passive smoking or breathing secondhand smoke, is the third leading preventable cause of death. To address secondhand smoke-related issues, James Repace, an international expert on secondhand tobacco smoke, will appear at five public education forums around the state April 24-26. Nonsmokers as well as smokers of all ages are invited to learn firsthand about the short- and long-term harmful effects from secondhand tobacco smoke.

The issue of secondhand smoke is significant because smoke from the burning end of a cigarette contains more than 4,000 chemicals and 40 carcinogens, including: lead, cyanide, arsenic, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and benzene. The smoker, and anyone else nearby, inhales these chemicals.

The public education forum presentations will include:

  • The truth about secondhand tobacco smoke hazards, exposure, dose and dose response, risk and risk management.
  • The business owner's liability created by secondhand tobacco smoke in the workplace.
  • How to protect children, individuals with breathing disabilities, and non-smokers from exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke.
  • Tobacco industry manipulation of the scientific evidence on the dangers of secondhand tobacco smoke.

Repace is an international expert in the research and science of secondhand tobacco smoke. He is a former science policy analyst and senior staff scientist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He currently serves on the World Health Organization Expert Advisory Panel on Tobacco or Health, and provides national and state legislator education, expert witness and risk assessment for secondhand smoke litigation. Repace has received numerous awards, including the Dr. Luther L. Terry Award from the U.S. Public Health Professional Association and the Surgeon General's Medallion.

The public education forums are sponsored by local tobacco use prevention coalitions and are scheduled as follows:

Tuesday, April 24: 9 am – 12 noon Northeast Tobacco-Free Oklahoma Coalition Bernsen Community Life Center Lewis Room, 2nd Floor, 709 S. Boston Ave., Tulsa Contact: Elva Brown, (918) 595-4495, ebrown@tulsa-health.org

Wednesday, April 25: 9 am – 11 am The Northwest Oklahoma Tobacco-Free Coalition Autry Technology Center, 1201 W. Willow, Enid Contact: Barbara Patterson, (580) 234-1046, aprc@swbell.net

Wednesday, April 25: 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm McAlester Area Chamber of Commerce 10 S. Third St., McAlester Contact: Tammy Randazzo, (918) 423-1267,tammyr@health.state.ok.us

Thursday, April 26: 10 am – 12 noon The Partnership For a Healthy Oklahoma Youth Services of Oklahoma County 201 N.E. 50th, Oklahoma City Contact: Donna Bell, (405) 235-7537, dbell@ysoc.org

Thursday, April 26: 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm Southwest Tobacco-Free Oklahoma Coalition Great Plains Technology Center 4500 SW Lee Blvd., Building 100 Auditorium Main Entrance, Lawton Contact: Debbie Shandy, (580) 355-5246 x109, dshandy@sirinet.net

Repace will also be guest presenter at a meeting of the Governor's Task Force on Tobacco and Youth, Tuesday, April 24, 2:30 p.m., in the Governor's (Large) Conference Room, State Capitol, Oklahoma City.


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