Erie County's parks and beaches are now smoke-free.
The Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein and other county leaders were joined Monday by members of the Erie-Niagara Tobacco Free Coalition at Como Lake Park in Lancaster where they unveiled the first batch of "smoke-free" signs.
Burstein says the new smoke-free policy is now in effect at all county-run parks and beaches. She says the goal is to clear the air of second-hand smoke
"When people enter the park and they drive through, they'll see a very clear sign that indicates this is a smoke-free area and hopefully get the message out that smoking is a non-desirable behavior and it's not healthy," said Burstein.
The county parks department is now working to install smoke-free signs at all nine parks and two beaches.
"It's a momentous occasion. Erie County Parks represents a huge space of land," said Anthony Billoni, director of the Erie-Niagara Tobacco Free Coalition.
The organization has worked with a number of municipalities with close to two-dozen following similar smoke-free park rules.
In 2010, the county placed "please no smoking" messages on about 400 garbage totes at some facilities in an attempt to push for a smoke-free policy.