Special to the CourierJuly 1 marked the second anniversary of Georgia’s Smokefree Air Act, and the Department of Human Resources has provided an update and reminder for Georgians about the importance of this law. The primary reason for the enactment of the Smokefree Air Act of 2005 was to reduce secondhand smoke exposure for employees and patrons, particularly children. Smokefree environments make restaurants and public establishments safer, cleaner and more enjoyable. Smoking is prohibited in all public buildings and restaurants where children under the age of 18 are allowed. “We aim to protect the public, especially children, from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke,” Stuart Brown, director of the DHR Division of Public Health, said. “Secondhand smoke can contribute to or cause severe health problems in both smokers and non-smokers, including cancer, emphysema, heart disease, sudden infant death syndrome and asthma. Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke.” Public health leaders are serious about enforcing the Smokefree Air Act. A person smoking in violation of the law will be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not less than $100 and not more than $500.DHR continues to receive calls and emails from employees, managers, and restaurant patrons when they observe individuals smoking in a restaurant or public building. You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-877-343-3340 toll free with questions or to file a complaint.