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Thank you, Newton Parks Board

Published: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 11:13 a.m. CDT

I would like to thank the Newton Parks Board for passing a tobacco-free parks policy. By banning tobacco use at our city parks, they are proactively protecting our citizens from the dangers of secondhand smoke and tobacco use and setting a positive example for youth. Why do young people often begin using tobacco products? They are influenced by people around them who smoke. Friends, family, and other adult leaders are key role models in whether or not youth choose to use tobacco.  

How can we, as a community, work to ensure that youth are surrounded by positive role models? We can start by being positive role models ourselves.

According to Tobacco Free Kids, more than 90 percent of all adults who smoke began in their teens or earlier and more than half became regular, daily smokers before they reached the age of 19. A tobacco-free parks policy reinforces to youth the dangers of tobacco use in hopes that they themselves will not become daily smokers. Thank you, Newton Parks Board, for upholding the overall goal of the park systems, which is to promote community wellness and healthy environments for our community members. I commend you for voting in favor of our future by protecting the health of the young people living in our community.

Emily Smid

Program Coordinator,

American Lung Association in Iowa

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