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Tour Recognizes Doylestown as Part of Great American Smoke Out

Officials praised the borough for banning tobacco use in its public parks.

A community challenge tour recently stopped in Doylestown to recognize the borough's new tobacco-free public parks.

Officials gathered at Veterans Memorial Park in Maplewood to check out the new signs that tell the public smoking is no longer allowed.

The smoking ban and signs were approved earlier this year as part of the "Young Lungs At Play," a Pennsylvania Department of Health public health initiative to eliminate children’s exposure to secondhand smoke. 

The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, Inc. works with municipalities, school districts, county government, youth recreation and sports organizations to coordinate the no-cost, tobacco-free parks and playgrounds program. Organizations that ban tobacco use receive weather resistant "Young Lungs at Play" signs to post in public areas where children play.

"The Central Bucks Drug Free Project Coalition welcomes the tour to honor those who have adopted this important health initiative,” Melanie Swanson from The Council, said in a statement.

"Exposure to secondhand smoke is estimated to cause approximately 50,000 deaths each year in the United States and over one million illnesses in children. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies tobacco smoke as a Class A carcinogen and the Surgeon General reports that there is no safe level of exposure.  Children are at particular risk for asthma, respiratory infections and cardiovascular disease when exposed to tobacco smoke."

"Outdoor tobacco use has an environmental impact as well," said borough council member Noni West. "Cigarette butts are one of the most littered items in the world.  Not biodegradable, they are costly to clean up, and tobacco waste can poison our waterways, animals and people.”

"I am passionate about this issue and deeply grateful for creative, effective and community-based solutions to this important public health issue," said council member Marlene Pray.

Other Bucks County communities and organizations that have participated in "Young Lungs at Play" also recognized by the tour include Hilltown Township, Morrisville, New Hope, Northampton Township, Quakertown, Richland Township, Solebury Township, and Upper Southampton Township.

Michael J. McFadden December 01, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Would Melanie Swanson be willing to defend her statements against some criticism here? Or would that be too much to ask? - MJM
Michael J. McFadden December 02, 2012 at 09:37 AM
Well, regardless of whether Melanie chooses to defend herself, let me offer some points: 1) There is absolutely no scientific evidence of any harm being done to "Young Lungs At Play" by people smoking in parks. NONE. This effort is simply an example of "Dragging out the Children" to further a propaganda push aimed at what they call "Denormalizing" smokers -- reducing their numbers and pushing them into ghettos where they can be dealt with more effectively and with less resistance. 2) Secondary tobacco smoke (ETS) has indeed been classed as a "Class A Carcinogen" but so has sunshine. There is "no safe level" of either one, nor for that matter is there a "safe level" of exposure to the highly volatile Class A Carcinogen evaporating into the air from the martinis enjoyed by the folks sitting at a table next to you at an outdoor restaurant patio. In the cases of sunshine and ethyl alcohol people are rational about judging levels of exposure and there are no highly funded well organized political groups pushing to have them banned. "Tobacco Control" currently enjoys 500 million dollars a year paid by smokers through the MSA (not to mention the extra hundreds of millions poured into it by the political/charitible arms of pharmaceutical companies and such things). Give me that much money to mount a campaign against sunshine and we'd see concrete domes over our parks in ten years. Thoughts anyone? Michael J. McFadden Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"

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