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Stadium smoking ban protects public health

Maryland Stadium AuthoritySpring TrainingOriole Park at Camden Yards

The Maryland Stadium Authority's decision to prohibit smoking at both Camden Yards and at M&T Bank Stadium is great news for sports fans ("State Authority bans smoking at M&T Stadium, Oriole Park," Feb. 26).

Secondhand smoke causes serious disease and premature death among nonsmokers, and there is no safe level of exposure. A study conducted at the University of Maryland Baltimore County found that even outdoors, nonsmokers up to a distance of 23 feet away or more are still exposed to carcinogens.

With spring training underway, now is the perfect time for fans who use tobacco to quit. The Maryland Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, is available 24 hours a day and offers free smoking cessation services, including free nicotine patches or gum while supplies last.

Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, Baltimore

The writer is secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

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