Provided by Tobacco Free Network
OSWEGO, NY – On Monday, Community Partnerships for a Tobacco Free New York launched a campaign to educate New Yorkers about the benefits of tobacco free outdoor recreational areas.
The campaign raises awareness of the environmental impact of tobacco litter, dangers of secondhand smoke and influence on children when tobacco use is not restricted.
Tobacco litter is poisonous to children and wildlife.
Discarded cigarette butts are the most common form of litter.
Studies show they are toxic, slow to decompose and costly to remove.
Cigarette butts have been found in the stomachs of fish, whales, birds and other marine animals and can cause digestive blockages.
Children routinely pick up these toxic butts and try to place them in their mouths.
“The Community Partnership, of which the Tobacco Free Network of Oswego County is a part, has designed a paid media campaign to educate communities about why we need to adopt more tobacco free outdoor policies,” said Abby Jenkins, program coordinator for the Tobacco Free Network of Oswego County. “Family recreation for children should not mean having to play among cigarette butts or being exposed to secondhand smoke.”
“The U.S. Surgeon General has declared that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke,” said Irwin Berlin, MD board chair of the American Lung Association in New York. “When we consider that children have smaller lungs than adults and consequently breathe in 50 percent more air pollution, it’s clear that we need to do everything we can to expand smoke-free outdoor areas so we can reduce exposure and prevent tobacco-caused disease.”
Public support for outdoor tobacco use restrictions is growing.
Currently, outdoor tobacco use policies have been enacted in over 280 local municipalities throughout New York State.
In 2007, the city of Oswego passed a tobacco-free policy which includes all city-owned playgrounds.
Just recently, the town and village of Hannibal passed a tobacco-free policy for grounds that includes the Hannibal Community Park.
Local Community Partnerships can provide sample policies, signage and/or assistance in creating outdoor tobacco use policies.
Visit www.TobaccoFreeNYS.org or www.TobaccoFreeOswego.com to learn more.