A local community group dedicated to stopping youth substance abuse has joined a growing chorus of organizations going smoke-free.
The Archdiocese of New York Drug Abuse Prevention Program, based in Throggs Neck, announced on Wednesday, June 4 that it was going smoke-free at its Schurz Avenue headquarters in an effort to bolster awareness about the dangers of smoking and the health of its member partners and workers.
The announcement was made in conjunction with the Bronx Smoke Free Partnership, which is part of a city-wide initiative advocating for smoke-free grounds at community and residential facilities.
“The evidence is clear that secondhand smoke presents an unacceptable level of risk of serious repository disease in those exposed to it,” said Frances Maturo, executive director of ADAPP. “We are proud to do our part in providing a more healthful environment for our staff and our community.”
ADAPP is an organization dedicated to stopping teen drinking and substance abuse in the Throggs Neck community, and so its goal of achieving a smoke free campus headquarters dovetails with its mission.
Senator Jeff Klein, who supports ADAPP’s initiatives in his district, cheered the move.
“I commend ADAPP’s decision to make their building and their surrounding area smoke-free and in doing so, sending a message that the health and well-being of their staff and visitors is the priority,” said Klein.
Bronx Smoke Free Partnership Lisa Spitzner said that ADAPP, like a lot of other local organizations, should find a ban on smoking beneficial to their organization.
“It is useful not only for health benefits, but also reduces cigarette litter and fire risk,” said Spitzner.
Organizations that have already adopted a smoke-free policy or have designated spaces where smoking is permitted in an otherwise smoke-free campus include the Mary Mitchell Center, Bronx YMCA, Kingsbridge Heights Community Association, Riverdale YM-YWHA, CUNY campuses, and Montefiore Medical Cen’ter, she said.
“They find it beneficial because these organizations have missions that are community and quality-of-life focused, so this fits rights into their mission,” she said. “Definitely for organizations that have community members frequenting facility, reducing second-hand smoke is a [benefit], with asthma rates in the Bronx high.”
When an organization adopts a smoke-free policy, it is often makes it more likely that smokers on their staff might try smoking cessation, which could help them kick the habit, added Spitzner.