Imagine Anderson, the United Way of Anderson County and the South Carolina Tobacco Free Collaborative have partnered to host a luncheon in support of Smoke Free Communities and to recognize local businesses, municipalities and individuals that are leading the way to ensure clean, healthy, smoke free environments for residents and visitors of communities across Anderson County.
Keynote speaker Pamela Buffington Redmon, who was born and raised in Belton, graduated from Belton Honea Path High School and Clemson University, has come back to visit her home town in support of smoke free communities. Ms. Redmon now serves as the Executive Director of the Global Health Institute – China Tobacco Control Partnership and the Administrative Director for the Tobacco Centers for Regulatory Science.
Those receiving special leadership recognition include:
Smoke Free Towns - Pendleton, West Pelzer and Williamston
59 of the municipalities in South Carolina have already gone smoke-free, including 3 in Anderson County. Sandra Gantt, Mack Durham and Blake Sanders will be accepting awards.
Smoke Free Restaurant – Tucker’s Restaurant
Hamid Mohsseni, owner of Tucker’s, has been a leader and advocate for smoke free restaurants and businesses across Anderson County since instituting a ban on smoking in his restaurant in 2011.
Tobacco Free Higher Education – Tri County Technical College
Tri County Tech has stepped up for the health of its students and faculty, not only passing smoke-free and tobaccos-free policies. Effective Aug. 1, 2014, tobacco use is prohibited on all Tri-County Technical College (TCTC) campuses and learning centers, including all buildings, parking lots, automobiles, and outdoor areas.
Smoke Free Business – Westminster Company
Showing exemplary leadership in the business realm, this company has set smoke free policies for its local apartment complexes restricting smoking in the apartments.
Individual Awards –
Terry Taylor of the South Carolina Tobacco Free Collaborative
Beth Connell – resident of one of the Westmister Company apartment complexes that went smoke free. Ms. Connell, who had smoked for 40 years of her life, has quit smoking since the apartments banned smoking. This can be tied back to the leadership steps and decisions Westminster Company has made for its residents.
Dr. Becky Campbell, co-chair of the Imagine Anderson Smoke Free Committee and former Director of the Anderson County Health Department stated: “The Imagine Anderson Board believes one of the greatest positive impacts we can have on the health of our community is to create and sustain smoke-free environments. We know that secondhand smoke kills over 41,000 people in the U.S. every year and is an internationally recognized health hazard. According to the 2006 Surgeon General’s report, “there is no risk free level of exposure to second hand smoke”. Keep in mind, approximately 80% of county residents choose not to smoke. Imagine Anderson aims to protect the health of these individuals and our community, thus, has set a lofty, but doable, goal: To ensure Smoke Free Anderson policies are adopted in every municipality across the County as well as throughout all areas within County jurisdiction.”
Smoke free environments will not only protect the health of our residents in communities across Anderson County, but also create a clean, enjoyable environment for patrons and employees of local shops, parks, restaurants and other area businesses. Going smoke free carries health, social and economic benefits.