Welcome to GASP of Nebraska's home on the web

Have you or your family ever been bothered by secondhand smoke at a Bank of the West sponsored concert in Omaha’s Memorial Park? Have you had to move away from people smoking or stop going to City Parks altogether because of secondhand smoke? Please tell GASP your story.

GASP is working to make all future concerts smoke free. We are encouraging the Omaha City Council and Mayor to pass an ordinance that would prohibit smoking in public parks and all City owned or rented property. Event coordinators have the option right now to make their outdoor park events smoke free, but some of them choose not to do so.

We talked with representatives at Bank of the West. They told us they have chosen to allow smoking at their July 1, 2016 concert, saying that the City of Omaha has no ordinance to prohibit smoking in our parks.

In contrast, after being asked by GASP, other event coordinators have taken the initiative to make sure their events are family friendly and handicapped accessible with smoke-free policies. These include Shakespeare on the Green (for over 20 years), Earth Day Omaha, Omaha Summer Arts Festival and many other City of Omaha Parks Department sponsored events. Iowa state law requires all events like these to be smoke free.

The Surgeon General has determined there is no safe level of secondhand smoke, even outdoors. Many people who smoke don’t want smoke around their children or elderly parents. Everyone has the right to breathe clean outdoor air.

Your health and safety shouldn’t be left up to event coordinators. You shouldn’t have to stay home with an asthmatic child because you fear someone’s smoke will trigger an asthma attack. If you or your family members don’t want to breathe someone’s cigarette smoke at public events, please make your opinion known! Help Omaha join the over 1200 cities in this country that have ordinances to protect your right to smoke-free air in public parks.

Do you have a personal story to tell? Do you want to express your opinion? If so, you can help! In 200 words or less, please write a Letter to the Editor at the Omaha World Herald at Pulse@OWH.com and/or contact the three Omaha City Council Members on the Parks and Recreation Committee (below). Let them hear from you by sending a letter or calling them. Please include me also. Here at GASP, we’re collecting personal stories to help make our case for a smoke-free City ordinance. We keep all correspondence in the strictest of confidence. Here’s the contact information:

<>Franklin Thompson, Chairman Franklin.Thompson@cityofomaha.org 402-444-5523
Garry Gernandt  Garry.Gernandt@cityofomaha.org 402-444-5522
Ben Gray  Ben.Gray@cityofomaha.org 402-444-5524
Mark Welsch, GASP President Mark@SmokeFreeNebraska.org 402-558-0463

100 Smoke-Free Event signs cost $500! Please help GASP make more places smoke free with a tax deductible donation. You may send your check, made out to GASP of NE, Inc., to 5611 Howard Street, Omaha NE 68106 or click on “Click here to make a donation via PayPal” at http://www.smokefreenebraska.org/donvolcon/donvolcon.html

Thanks for all of your support and help!

<>Mark Welsch, President
Group to Alleviate Smoking Pollution (GASP) of NE, Inc.
5611 Howard Street
Omaha, NE 68106-1257

PS: Please help us increase our LIKE’s on Facebook by clicking on the three dots to the right of the “Message” button and “Share” after you go here: https://www.facebook.com/GASP.GrouptoAlleviateSmokingPollutionNebraska/

Smoke Free Housing in Nebraska
Including Apartments, Houses, Condominiums and Retirement Homes
GASP maintains a database for smoke-free apartments in Omaha, Lincoln, Grand Island, Bellevue and all other cities and counties in Nebraska. Please use our search engine on the left to find them. If you know of a smoke-free apartment that isn't listed in our search engine on the left, please tell us about it in an email message with a subject of "Smoke-Free Apartments" to Info@SmokeFreeNebraska.org.

If you are a landlord anywhere in Nebraska, you may add your 100% smoke-free rental property on this website for free with three simple steps. Click on List Your Properties to add your property to the best, searchable, highest ranked website for smoke-free housing in Nebraska. We provide the best, easiest to use smoke-free apartment finder for tenants who care about their health. Over 80% of Nebraskans do not smoke!

Our list of smoke-free appartments was compiled form sources believed to be reliable, however we make no guarantees as to its accuracy. Make sure the smoke-free building policy is written into your lease, verbal agreements are of little value. To protect your comfort and health, make sure all apartments are already, and will stay, smoke free before you sign a lease. To be effective, the policy should include outdoor patios, balconies, sidewalks and an area within at least 25 feet of the building. 

If you have a problem with a smoky home, rented or owned, contact GASP. We can help you clear the air.

Nebraska Is A Smoke-Free State!

If you see or smell smoke in a business in Nebraska, please talk to the owner or manager of that business to let them know that it is illegal. They are required to make sure no one smoke inside their business. If you can’t talk with the owner or manager, or they refuse to stop the smoking, you may call 9-1-1 to report them to the police.

Mark Welsch, president of GASP has reported a few businesses to the police for violating this law with very quick response from the police. At least five tickets have been issued to businesses for illegally allowing smoking and to people for illegally smoking. If you want GASP to help stop illegal smoking, please send an email message with the name, address and phone number of the business to email or call 402-558-0463.

What is in our smoke-free future?

Now that most businesses in Omaha are smoke free, and most businesses in the state of Nebraska are smoke free, GASP is continuing to work on other priority issues. If you want to tell GASP what you think about our priority issues, or to suggest a new one, please send an email message with your ideas along with your name, email address and phone number to email or call 402-558-0463. We would like to talk with you about your ideas.

Our list of laws we would like to see passed include:

1.      Make in-home day cares, foster homes and their vehicles smoke free all of the time.

2.      Make cigarettes “fire safe” by making them go out when they fall onto a couch or bed.

3.      To cause fewer high school students and other youth to smoke, raise the legal age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21 to match the legal age to drink alcohol.

4.      Protect children from secondhand smoke by making cars smoke free if a child is in the car.

5.      Raise the tobacco tax so that nonsmokers are not subsidizing the cost of smokers to Medicaid. Nebraskans currently pay around $50 million every year to pay what the tobacco tax does not cover. Just to break even, the tax on a pack of cigarettes needs to increase by 50-cents.

6.      Eliminate all tobacco vending machines that are where children may use them.

7.      Make public school property smoke and tobacco free zones.


Cigar Bar Bill is Signed Into Law

Find out more about it and see if your Senator voted for it here.


02-05-09:  Economic fears snuff out smoking bans. Story here.

02-05-09: Letting a cigar bar be a cigar bar. Story here.

06-27-06: View the US Surgeon General's 2006 report on secondhand smoke here.

Smoke-Free Foster Homes

Shouldn't all children in Nebraska foster homes be afforded a smoke-free place to live? Sadly, they are not. Many foster homes are full of carcinogens that cause and exacerbate illnesses such as asthma in young people. Find out what you can do to end this all-too-common form of child abuse.

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