Arkport board passes smoking ban for Arkport Village Park

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Thursday, March 22, 2012 | Neal Simon | Categories:
Arkport, N.Y. — Arkport village officials have followed through with a promise to boot tobacco from the village park. Trustees unanimously passed a measure last week that prohibits smoking in all sections of the park. Officials say smokers are not likely to face fines if they violate the ordinance. Rather, they will endure stares, frowns and perhaps friendly reminders that butts have been banned in all sections of park, according to Mayor Jeff Roderick. “We have a lot of kids who use the park,” Roderick said. “Now there will be no cigarette butts around for kids to pick-up.” Roderick explained that because there is no police force in Arkport, the village is relying on residents to obey the restriction, and to point out the ban to smokers who may not be aware of it. Roderick said approximately 10 “no smoking” signs are on the way. He said the signs will be put up throughout the park as soon as possible. In February, a representative from Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Community Partnership urged the village board to make its community park tobacco free. The group stresses health risks associated with inhaling second hand smoke, litter caused by discarded cigarette butts, and the danger of children seeing adults smoking and “modeling” that behavior. Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness calls cigarette butts “the most littered item in the world.” The Tobacco Awareness group points to surveys that they say prove the public supports tobacco restrictions. According to a 2009 survey, 75 percent of Steuben County residents support restricting or eliminating smoking in public parks, while 70 percent favor the complete elimination of smoking near playgrounds. Additionally, according to the survey, some 70 percent of county residents believe breathing in secondhand smoke is very harmful, Tobacco Awareness said. Southern Tier Tobacco has pledged its continued support to Arkport, promising to provide signs and other material that publicizes the restrictions. “It is simply the right thing to do,” Trustee Mike Brewer said of the tobacco ban last month. “I think it is the best thing for our community.”
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