Last January, Atlanta musicians let out a collective round of applause when the city passed its comprehensive smoke-free ordinance. Before the legislation, entertainers suffered from constant exposure to secondhand smoke in their workplaces – the bars and venues where they performed. The impact on their health was tremendous; secondhand smoke not only ruined careers but cut lives short. At least two local performers who never smoked died as a result of diseases caused by secondhand smoke exposure. That’s why on Jan. 5, three days after the ordinance passed, Atlanta blues musicians were all smiles celebrating the implementation at a concert hosted by Entertainers Speak Out, the Atlanta Blues Society and the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation. As we begin 2021, we celebrate the anniversary of this lifesaving policy and thank the City Council, including Councilman Westmoreland who introduced the legislation, for its leadership in helping Atlanta join the ranks of more than 1,000 other U.S. smoke-free cities.
LEWIS MCTUSH, FOUNDER, ENTERTAINERS SPEAK OUT