X Cortland County Health Department

Keep Butts Away From Where We Play

Posted by  //  November 20, 2017  //  News

Last week, the Village of Dryden passed legislation prohibiting tobacco use on Village-owned property, including Montgomery Park and Jim Schug Trail. The Village of Dryden is one of more than 450 New York State municipalities adopting tobacco-free outdoor policies to protect the public.  The Tobacco Free Zone program of Cortland, Tompkins and Chenango Counties, including Reality Check, 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. Children routinely pick up these toxic butts and try to place them in their mouths.

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. Children have smaller lungs than adults and consequently breathe in 50 percent more air pollution. It’s important to expand tobacco-free outdoor areas so we can reduce exposure and prevent tobacco-caused disease.

There is tremendous public support for outdoor tobacco use restrictions.  The Tobacco Free Zone program can provide technical assistance to municipalities, worksites and other entities, including signage. Visit www.TFreeZone.net to learn more.

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