A month or so ago I received a complaint from a concerned citizen regarding smoking on Village property. I began researching various Tobacco Control Policies and began a dialogue with the Board of Trustees, as well as reached out to Seaway Valley Prevention Council.
I invited Chelsea Bartlett, Community Engagement Coordinator at Seaway Valley Prevention Council, to attend our Village Board Meeting in August. After a short, educative presentation, I presented the Board of Trustees with a draft Tobacco Control Policy and asked for their support in establishing a public hearing to pursue this Local Law.
Last week, at the Village Board Meeting, the Board of Trustees supported the Tobacco Control Policy that I had proposed to them and voted to adopt the Local Law.
The new law makes the use of any tobacco product, including “e-cig’s,” illegal in all of our parks and playgrounds, and prohibits the use of these products within 25 feet of all our structures and facilities, including the Arena and Community Center.
Second-hand smoke is a public health risk. We know that exposure to second-hand smoke increases your risk for cancer by 30% and causes the death of 46,000 non-smokers each year in the United States. Ironically, second-hand smoke contains twice as much tar and nicotine compared to smoke inhaled from a cigarette.
Tobacco-free outdoor policies promote a cleaner, safer environment for children and adults.
This Local Law is not about reducing the rights of smokers; rather it is about protecting those who do not smoke, especially our kids, from the well-known risks associated with secondary smoke.