LOUISVILLE - Members of the Louisville Town Council voted unanimously this week to adopt a smoke-free policy at its parks and recreational facilities.
One selling point for the policy, was simply that the change is coming as a policy, not a law.
Theres no enforcement angle to this, St. Lawrence County Tobacco Free Coalition Program Director Benjamin R. Todd said. Were not going to make Dewey the smoke police, he said, referring to the towns arena supervisor, Dewey LaValley.
Mr. Todd noted the resolution he presented to the board was the same one already adopted by Massena, Waddington, Madrid and several other communities in the county.
The two-page resolution is made up of mostly statistics, with the final paragraph detailing the policy.
Tobacco use is not allowed in Louisville parks, playgrounds, and recreation areas. It is the intent of the town of Louisville, in enacting this policy, to provide for public health, safety, and welfare by protecting the public and the environment from tobacco-related litter; by discouraging the inherently dangerous behavior of tobacco use around non-tobacco users, especially children; by protecting the public from exposure to secondhand smoke where they play, exercise, and relax; by reducing the potential for children to wrongly associate tobacco use with a healthy lifestyle and by affirming and promoting a healthy environment in and around our recreational areas.
Mr. Todd said his agency orders no smoking signs in bulk and the signs that will be on display in Louisville are identical to the ones in other communities where the policies are also not typically enforced by law enforcement.
Its self-enforcing, he said. You just put up the signs and for the most part people see the signs and obey them.
As for the statistics included in the resolution, Mr. Todd said they are there for a reason.
We have a really high tobacco use rate in this county, he said, adding tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States.
Mr. Todd also noted that 90 percent of smokers start smoking between the ages of 12 and 18.
If we can prevent them from getting started as kids, then it is very likely they will never get started, he said. Its more addictive than heroin or cocaine, but since its legal its not seen in the same light.