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Tobacco-free recreational areas healthy

February 2, 2013
The Leader Herald

Project ACTION Tobacco-Free Coalition in Hamilton, Fulton and Montgomery counties educate community leaders and the community about the benefits of tobacco-free recreational areas. Project ACTION educates about the environmental impact of tobacco litter and the dangers of secondhand smoke.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has classified secondhand smoke as a class A carcinogen, placing it in the same category as radon, benzene and asbestos. Cigarette litter is poisonous, putting children, pets and wildlife at risk, and secondhand smoke exposure is hazardous to your health. Discarded cigarette butts are the most common form of litter, and studies show they are toxic, slow to decompose and costly to remove. Children or animals routinely pick up cigarette butts and try to place them in their mouths, thus exposing them to many diseases.

American Poison Control reports that more than 5,400 children were poisoned by the ingestion of cigarette butts in 2008. Project ACTION provides sample policies, signage and assistance in creating outdoor tobacco-use policies. Tobacco-free policies help prevent youth tobacco use by showing adults as tobacco-free role models throughout the community.

In our area, some municipalities and business have taken the initiative to make their parks, playgrounds, entryways or their grounds tobacco-free for the health of their employees and visitors.

If you are interested or would like more information, please visit www.TobaccoFreeNYS.org or www.projectactionhfm.org.

SUE ARMINIO

Project ACTION coordinator,

Tobacco-Free Coalition of Hamilton, Fulton and Montgomery Counties

 
 

 

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