Clean Air Act Celebrated in Elmira
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During a celebration Wednesday of the 10th anniversary of the Clean Indoor Air Act, Wegmans was lauded for its decision five years ago to stop selling tobacco products.
The supermarket chain decided in January 2008 to stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products in all of its stores, said Ken Goodwin, assistant manager of Wegmans in Elmira.
“Our , Danny Wegman, explained this decision best when he said as a company, we respect a person’s right to smoke, but we also understand the destructive role smoking plays in health,” he said.
“We stopped selling it because it was the right thing to do,” Goodwin said. “Many young people work in our stores, and we wanted them to know that the company ... is willing to give up profits out of concern for their health.”
Mike Sullivan, owner of the Hill Top Inn in Elmira, said business has increased over the years partially because of this law. “Certainly, we find that our guests now have a much better dining experience. Employees now have a much, much better working environment.”
Nykole Parks, community coordinator for Arnot Health and an Elmira City Council member from the 4th District, said her mother is smoke-free today because it became inconvenient for her to take smoking breaks.
“The effort that Wegmans is making is so important not only to set an example but to set the leadership role for other ,” said Robert Page, health director for the Chemung County Public Health Department.