The West Virginia Prevention Research Center (PRC) brings academic researchers, community members and public health agencies together to formulate effective strategies to promote health and prevent disease. The PRC’s volunteer Community Partnership Board (CPB) includes health care providers

and representatives from the business community, community organizations and public health agencies. CPB members share an interest in making a difference in their communities. Therefore, one of our key functions is to identify community needs and priorities and to seek public health policies that address these needs. Evidencebased public health policies are policies that have been proven to have a positive effect on community health. Examples include requiring vaccinations for children, adding fluoride to public water supplies and adopting clean indoor air regulations.

Many members of the Community Partnership Board who have visited Morgantown and Monongalia County are surprised and dismayed to find that such a progressive, well educated and economically stable community has failed to protect residents, students and visitors from the preventable health hazards associated with secondhand smoke exposure. We urge Morgantown’s City Council and the Monongalia County Board of Health to implement a comprehensive clean indoor air policy that would prohibit smoking in all public places and workplaces, without exception. It is within these policymakers’ power to have an immediate, positive impact on the health of the citizens of this community.

Everyone — employees, students, residents and visitors alike— deserves protection from secondhand smoke in all indoor public places and workplaces.

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