Health
2:06 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Smoking now prohibited at Erie County parks and beaches

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.