“This is an extremely positive step for not only our employees, but for the children and families who visit the clinic regularly. As a public health authority, this is the County leading by example,” said Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglein.
NorthPoint's Community Board of Directors passed a resolution earlier this year in support of a smoke-free campus and requested approval from the County Board.
Secondhand smoke is a leading cause of preventable death in the United States. North Minneapolis has higher rates of people who smoke than elsewhere in Hennepin County. In Hennepin County, approximately 17% of adults smoke, but in North Minneapolis about 27% of adults smoke (Hennepin County SHAPE
2006 Adult Data Book.)
More than half of Hennepin County (54.9%) – and North Minneapolis (59.5%) smokers are trying to quit – or have tried to quit in the last 12 months.
According to the American Cancer Society, smoke-free policies help smokers reduce their cigarette usage.
“NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center is working to create a healthier community in North Minneapolis and having a smoke-free campus sends the message that we are serious about creating an environment focused on healthy behaviors for the community as well as our employees,” said Stella Whitney-West, Chief Executive Officer of NorthPoint. “I am pleased that the NorthPoint Community Board demonstrated leadership in requesting that the County Commissioners approve the smoke-free campus. The partnership between the Community Board and Hennepin County is working for the residents of North Minneapolis.”
The Hennepin County Board Resolution prohibiting smoking on the NorthPoint campus goes into effect on November 18, 2010 – The American Cancer Society’s “Great American Smokeout” date.