Smoking Tobacco to be Ban in Shen Parks
All Shenandoah parks and city-maintained green spaces may soon become tobacco free following the decision by members of the Shenandoah City Council to have an ordinance drawn up on the issue by Shenandoah Attorney Bob Norris. Nikki Rengstorf, Page County Public Health Community Transformation Grant coordinator, who was there on behalf of the Shenandoah Park Board, addressed members of the council.
Rengstorf said parks are established to promote a healthy lifestyle and as a way to improve the quality of life for area youth, yet that is diminished by having tobacco users in the park smoking.
Second-hand smoke and litter were two other tobacco-related issued Rengstorf addressed. She said tobacco litter is huge issue in city parks. For example, she, a co-worker and two others took a 15-minute sweep of three city parks and picked up three bags of cigarette butts, cigarette packages and lighters.
“Each cigarette contains 10 to 30 milligrams of nicotine and a cigarette butt contains .1 to 1.5 milligrams of nicotine. If a child would ingest just one cigarette, it is lethal, and if you would ingest one cigarette butt, it is toxic,” said Rengstorf.
If placed in affect, Rengstorf said the tobacco free policy at parks and green spaces would go hand-in-hand with the city’s tobacco free buildings and vehicles, as well as the tobacco free school campuses.
As for how to enforce such an ordinance, Rengstorf recommended signs, purchased by the CTG, be placed within those areas, as well as educating the community that it is no longer allowed, which PCPH would also help with.
“We don’t need people patrolling the parks,” Rengstorf explained.
She added if a person is smoking in a park once it is prohibited, the person could be politely asked to leave the park, as it is against the city’s ordinance.