Mar 19, 2013 6:35 PM by JD Downing
COLORADO SPRINGS - The Colorado Springs Sky Sox announced today that beginning with the Sky Sox Season Opener on Thursday, April 4th Security Service Field will become a smoke-free facility. All areas inside the stadium gates will be designated as non-smoking and this policy will remain in place for all events moving forward including Sky Sox games, concerts, functions and other events.
Since the opening of the stadium in 1988, smoking had been allowed in designated areas inside the venue but Security Service Field will now join a growing majority of sporting venues by going smoke-free. Patrons who would like to smoke will be allowed to do so in a designated area outside the stadium gates. They will be allowed to exit the stadium freely during events to access this area and will be readmitted with a hand stamp they receive upon exiting. These fans will not have to miss any of the action on the field as the designated smoking area will have a live audio feed of the game broadcast over speakers into the area.
"The trend in Colorado Springs and across the country is to provide a smoke-free environment and feedback we've received from our fans suggests that the majority now prefer this type of experience," said Tony Ensor, President and General Manager of the Sky Sox. "The decision was made easier by considering the overwhelming evidence of the negative health effects of smoking and secondhand smoke."
The Sky Sox have followed recommend best practices for implementing smoke-free areas with the guidance of El Paso County Public Health. New signage will be erected throughout the stadium, tobacco cessation literature will be available at the stadium's Fan Center and public service announcements will be made during Sky Sox games.
"I congratulate the Sky Sox and its demonstrated leadership in reducing the public's exposure to secondhand smoke," said Ms. Jill Law, R.N., M.H.A., Director of El Paso County Public Health. "A smoke-free environment is a healthier environment for everyone who comes to enjoy a Sky Sox game, including children, adults, employees and players. Smoke-free initiatives help make Colorado Springs a healthier place to live, work and play."
According to Ms. Law, cigarette smoking rates among adults in El Paso County have declined in recent years, as of 2010 nearly 18 percent of adults 18 years and older are current smokers. This smoking rate is slightly higher than the Colorado average for adult smokers (16.5 percent) and substantially higher than the Healthy People 2020 goal of reducing smoking prevalence to 12 percent of adults.
"We encourage anyone who is interested in quitting tobacco to call the Colorado QuitLine, which offers free coaching and nicotine replacement therapy," Ms. Law said. "Quitting tobacco is hard but not impossible, and every bit of help and encouragement is beneficial."
The QuitLine can be reached at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or online at www.coquitline.org.