Mission: To reduce tobacco and other drug use and abuse across the lifespan through increased evidence-based, population focused services and programs.
In the United States, tobacco use is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths (about 480,000 early deaths each year) making it the leading cause of preventable death. Tobacco use is associated with illness and death related to heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, low birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome, and fire.
Tobacco products are not only harmful for the user. Through secondhand smoke, tobacco can cause poor health and injury to non-tobacco users. Secondhand smoke is the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke breathed out by a smoker. No amount of secondhand smoke is safe. The Surgeon General has concluded cleaning the air and ventilating buildings cannot remove secondhand smoke. The best way to limit secondhand smoke exposure is by creating no-smoking policies.
Cobb & Douglas Public Health provides education and support for any school or business interested in creating stronger smoking policies. Under the advisement of a public health educator, CDPH, will review the standing policy and strategically develop a 3-step plan to successfully transition into a smoke-free or tobacco-free workplace.
The 3-step plan includes:
- creating policy language
- forming a pre-adoption education campaign
- providing tobacco cessation resources.
Comprehensive smoking policies:
- Reduce secondhand smoke exposure
- Reduce smoking
- Reduces absenteeism
- Increases productivity
- Improves indoor air quality
- Improves health
- Improves quality of life
- Increases revenue for business
- Reduces risk of fire incident
- Reduces cost associated with smoke damage, cleaning, and maintenance
- Provide a supportive environment for people interested in quitting smoking
For more information on policy development or to request brochures and informational handouts on tobacco-use and secondhand smoke, please contact the Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention section at 770-432-7937.
Georgia Tobacco Quit Line
Georgia residents aged 13 and older who are interested in getting support for tobacco cessation are highly recommended to use the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line. The Georgia Tobacco Quit Line is a free and confidential telephone and web-based counseling service funded by the Tobacco Settlement Agreement. Service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – including holidays.
- Professional tobacco cessation counseling
- 5-call program
- 1 Registration Call
- 4 Proactive Counseling calls with a professional Quit Coach:
- 1 day after the set quit date
- 1 week after the set quit date
- follow up calls 2-3 weeks thereafter
- 10-call program
- Specialty program for pregnant and postpartum women
- Qualified interpreters are available to accommodate callers who speak a variety of languages
- Cessation services for all types of tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco products
- Free four-week supply of nicotine replacement therapies (gum or patch) are offered for adults aged 18 and older, while supplies last
Benefits of using the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line:
- Quit coaches improve the chances of quitting by 50%
- Provides easy access to tobacco support regardless of cost, time, or transportation limitations
- Empowers callers who may feel uncomfortable with seeking help in a group setting
English: 1-877-270-STOP (877-270-7867)
Spanish: 1-855 DEJELO-YA
Hearing Impaired: 1-877-777-6534
Smokefree Air Act 2005
In May 2005, Governor Sonny Perdue signed the Georgia Smokefree Air Act into law. Effective July 1, 2005, the new law prohibits smoking inside most public areas and outlines specific guidelines for allowing smoking in and around establishments that serve the public. The Act also allows for more restrictive local laws, rules, and regulations that are currently in place or may be passed in the future.
The purpose of the Act is to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke and its associated health risks. Each year over 11,000 Georgians die due to tobacco-related illnesses. The Smokefree Air Act of 2005 provides safer environments for Georgians to live, work, and play.
Where is smoking NOT allowed by law?
- All enclosed facilities, including buildings owned, leased or operated by the state or local governing authorities.
- All enclosed public places except as indicated in code section 31-12A6.
- All enclosed areas within places of employment unless authorized code section 31-12A-6.
- Restaurants and bars (except as noted in exemptions)
- Common work areas
- Medical facilities
- Private offices
- Employee lounges
- Conference rooms
- Meeting rooms
- All other enclosed facilities
Where is smoking allowed?
- Bars and restaurants
- All bars and restaurants that deny access to any person under the age of 18 and that do not employ individuals under the age of 18.
- Private rooms in restaurants and bars if the rooms are enclosed and have an air handling system independent from the main air system that serves all other areas of the building and all air within the private room is exhausted directly to the outside by an exhaust fan of sufficient size.
- Hotel and motel rooms that are rented to guests and are designated as smoking rooms.
- Long-term care facilities as defined in the law.
- Private and semiprivate rooms in health care facilities licensed under code section 31-8-81 that are occupied by one or more persons. Written authorization is required from the treating physician to smoke.
- Outdoor areas of places of employment.
- Designated smoking areas in international airports.
- All workplaces of any manufacturer, importer or wholesaler of tobacco products, of any tobacco leaf dealer or processor of tobacco products, all tobacco storage facilities and other facilities listed in code section 10-13A-2.
- Retail tobacco stores, provided that secondhand smoke does not infiltrate to areas where smoking is prohibited.
- Smoking areas designated by an employer
- The designated smoking area must be for employees only, must be located in a non-work area and must have an independent air handling system. This exemption does not apply to restaurants and bars.
- Convention facility meeting rooms and public and private assembly rooms within a convention facility that is not leased or operated by the state or local governing authority while used for private functions. Individuals under age 18 are prohibited from attending or working as an employee during the function.
- Common work areas, conference rooms, meeting rooms and private offices in private places of employment, other than medical facilities that open to the general public by appointment only. However, smoking is still prohibited in any public reception area of such place of employment.
- Private clubs, military officer clubs and noncommissioned officer clubs.
- Private residences are exempt from the general rule that smoking is prohibited except when used as a licensed child care, adult daycare or healthcare facility
What are the penalties?
- A person smoking in violation of the law will be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not less than $100 and not more than $500. A business that allows smoking in violation of the law can be fined through the process of injunctive relief where the amount of the fine will be determined by the court.
Cobb & Douglas Public Health strives to maintain a healthy community. Please report any smoking complaints by calling 770-432-7937. Anonymous complaints will not be accepted or investigated. The identity of the complainant shall remain confidential.
Cobbb2020 Breathe Easy
Cobb & Douglas Public Health is a proud partner of Cobb2020 Breathe Easy Cobb. Breathe Easy aims to provide support for organizations and municipalities in Cobb County to become tobacco free. For more information about Cobb2020 Breathe Easy, please visit www.cobb2020.com/breatheeasy