Young lungs were evident at the commission meeting as members of the Boys & Girls Club Resist group presented information about a tobacco free parks policy. The Resist group is a state-wide advocacy group that fights against the big tobacco company’s influence on young people and all Kansans.
Brieanna Shafer, Katelin Shafer and Aaliyah Greer provided information to the commissioners on their Resist chapter, a tobacco free parks policy and the tobacco scans they have conducted at the parks. Katelin explained during a tobacco scan cigarette butts are picked up in a specified area and the location is marked with a pink flag. This provides a visual of the number of cigarette butts at the parks.
Marci Roberts is the program coordinator for Chronic Disease Risk and Reduction for Montgomery County and has worked closely with the Resist group. “These kids are working to raise awareness in the schools and the community about the dangers of tobacco and vape use,” said Roberts. “Once a policy is implemented, we can order free signage for the parks stating this is a tobacco free zone and promote young lungs at play.”
The commissioners unanimously approved the City of Coffeyville Public Service Department Tobacco-Free Parks Policy. City Manager Mark Hall stated this will be a cooperative effort with emphasis on voluntary compliance. “The public service staff will periodically observe areas for compliance which will provide an opportunity for community education,” said Hall. “About 83% of Kansas adults do not smoke; we just need to focus on the 17% that do.”
The policy goes into effect July 1 and can be viewed from the link below.