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NYS Clean Indoor Air Act celebrates 10 years

By ALLISON NORLIAN

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - New York State celebrates 10 years of tobacco-free indoor air, many locals feel the act has helped our society beneficially, while others feel it was detrimental to business.

Clean indoor air act was enacted on July 24, 2003, banning smoking in almost all restaurants, bars, workplaces, taverns and bowling facilities. One purpose of the act was to reduce exposure to second hand smoke.

Many businesses, like The American Cancer Society, are thrilled with the acts anniversary and said it has saved many lives.

Melissa Kehler, the Director of Special Events for the American Cancer Society said she is thrilled the act began and is celebrating its 10 year anniversary.

" Were so excited because yes, California started us off but New York was right there behind them and I'm proud of our state that we were able to enact this law and now be 10 years later and how far we have come."

Some would say our state has seen a new normal. Michael Trunfio, owner of Michael T's said he was happy to get rid of smoking indoors.

"I was probably one of the few restaurant owners on board but just as a non- smoker I think it's better for dining that people don't smoke in restaurants."

People cant smoke in restaurants or even taverns. Business owners had to tell their regulars to "put out the cigarette." Unfortunately, they lost some serious business.

Trunfio said, "Most people that smoke drink... they come to the bar and have a drink and they drink more when they smoke.. so you know I lost some bar business because of that."

Trunfio,isn't the only one who lost business because of the act. Joanne Gerace, the owner of Tiny's said, " Do I disapprove of the clean indoor act...absolutely not, I think its wonderful but the way it came about hurt a lot of business.. several..many business closed because of it."

Although the act hurt some locals business, over the last 10 years our culture has changed dramatically.

Kheler said, "Here is more of a push on where are you exercising these days then on what cigarette are you smoking."



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