SIlVER CREEK - After a smoky experience at the Festival of Grapes, resident Melissa Shaw attended the Silver Creek Village Board meeting once again - but this time she had back up.
Shaw attended the meeting with Tri-County Tobacco Free Program Project Director for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Alleghany counties, Laurie Adams.
Adams explained how the Tri-County Tobacco Free Program can help the village draft the law to make its parks smoke-free and can provide the signage at no cost to the village.
OBSERVER Photo by Nicole Gugino
Laurie Adams (left) displays an example of a sign the Tri-County Tobacco Free Program will give Silver Creek if it decides to make parks smoke-free. Also pictured is Melissa Shaw who brought the matter before the board last month.
"This evening I would like to present some educational material that the New York State Tobacco Control Program provides for all communities and this part of the education allows you to look and review why it is so important to have tobacco-free parks in our community," she said. "I work with the Tri-County Tobacco Free Program ... and we provide free signage for anyone who passes an ordinance for tobacco-free parks and playgrounds."
At the previous meeting Shaw was moved to appeal to the board because her small children and asthmatic grandmother were exposed to smoking in the crowded areas at the Festival of Grapes. Adams reviewed how harmful second-hand smoke can be, especially to children.
"Second-hand smoke is dangerous, especially to children. The surgeon general reported even outside (it is harmful), the report establishes no exposure to second-hand smoke is safe, it is harmful and particularly harmful to children, even outside, if you can smell it it's hurting you," she said.
She showed the board three examples of the heavy-duty, $40 signs the program offers if a municipality passes a tobacco-free ordinance.
She said she has worked with many municipalities in the area over the years and there are neighboring townships with smoke-free parks.
The board at its last meeting showed support for the idea of making village parks and festivals smoke-free however no action has yet been taken.
The next town board meeting will be held today.