Burlington County freeholders announced that all county parks would go smoke- and tobacco-free beginning on May 31 in honor of World No Tobacco Day.
On May 31 every year, the World Health Organization and partners world-wide recognize World No Tobacco Day to highlight the health risks associated with the use of tobacco and to promote quitting smoking.
According to the WHO, tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death globally and is currently responsible for killing one in 10 adults worldwide.
“We all know that smoking is a serious health risk, but second- hand smoke, even breathed outdoors, can cause major health problems as well,” said Burlington County Freeholder Joanne Schwartz, liaison to the health department. “Making our parks smoke- and tobacco-free is just a small step that the county can take to help promote healthy living.”
Recently the Tobacco-Free for a Healthy New Jersey group reached out to the county to consider making the county smoke-free. This group has approached several counties and municipalities in the region to go smoke-free as well. The county Health Department partnered with Resource Conservation and the tobacco-free group to formulate a plan to go smoke-free.
“On behalf of the American Cancer Society, Eastern Division, I am particularly pleased to congratulate the Burlington County Board of Freeholders for their commitment to improve the public’s health by making all of the county parks smoke-free,” said Fred M. Jacobs, MD, JD, chief medical officer, American Cancer Society, Eastern Division. “This sends a strong message to the youth of the region that the elected leaders of their community do not endorse smoking in public places under their jurisdiction. Such actions by communities across our state, supported by the American Cancer Society, continue to increase awareness of the dangers of cigarette use and hasten the day when this public health menace is no longer a threat to any of the citizens of New Jersey.”
Signs will be put in all of the county parks announcing that the county will be smoke- and tobacco-free.
County Park rangers will educate park guests about the county parks going smoke and tobacco free and will encourage visitors to be respectful to the new policy.