"YOUNG LUNGS AT PLAY" ®
Implemented by the
Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority
An initiative of the PA Department of Health
In February 2011 the Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority unanimously adopted a resolution in support of the “Young Lungs at Play” initiative for their recreation facilities in and around State College (Centre County). The program, offered through the PA Dept. of Health and (currently contracted to) Clinical Outcomes Group Inc., promotes tobacco-free parks and recreation areas.
With this action, the Authority joined the growing list of other PA communities supporting the initiative. The Recreation Authority oversees the operations of Centre Region Parks & Recreation as part of the Centre Region Council of Governments, and provides municipal park services and recreation programs on behalf of five municipalities in the State College area: The Borough of State College and the Townships of College, Harris, Ferguson and Patton.
The 12” x 18” signs (as pictured) furnished by the Young Lungs program announce, “Young Lungs at Play!” to identify the area as a tobacco-free zone. The program was implemented by the Authority as an advisory policy, rather than as a park ordinance with penalties, to discourage smoking and the use of tobacco. Initially the signs were posted at the four regional sites the Authority operates: Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, John Hess Softball Field Complex, and at William L. Welch and Park Forest Community Swimming Pools. And on 25 Apr 2011, the COG General Forum authorized the program in their respective municipal parks. Therefore, the signs were installed at those areas in the other 42 Centre Region municipal parks - to include the two new regional parks that are currently in planning stages at Oak Hall and at Whitehall Road.
Centre Region Parks & Recreation Director Ronald J. Woodhead noted that residents had previously expressed support for a policy of this type and that the Board felt that that at least the playground areas in each municipal park should provide this awareness and protection. He said that the Board’s approach is to start the program and then, as supported by park visitors, work towards expanding the tobacco-free areas to other areas in each park.
Officials of other municipalities interested in learning more about the program should contact the Clinical Outcomes Group Inc. shown below.
CENTRE REGION PARKS & RECREATION AUTHORITY
RESOLUTION # 01-2011
Adopted 17 Feb 2011
“YOUNG LUNGS AT PLAY" ®
The Centre Regional Recreation Authority, State College, PA hereby confirms their support and implementation of the “Young Lungs At Play” program to designate specified park areas and municipal play equipment areas under its jurisdiction to be tobacco-free.
WHEREAS, the Centre Regional Recreation Authority provides and operates municipal and regional recreation facilities on behalf of five municipalities as part of the Centre Region Council of Governments, and
WHEREAS, the Authority remains committed to providing high quality and healthful recreation experiences to all residents and visitors,
WHEREAS, smoking is responsible for the premature deaths of over 430,000 Americans each year from lung cancer, heart disease, respiratory illness and other diseases; and
WHEREAS, secondhand smoke is responsible for over 50,000 deaths among nonsmokers each year; and
WHEREAS, the use of tobacco products kills more Americans each year than alcohol, cocaine, crack, heroin, homicide, suicide, accidents, fires, and AIDS combined; and
WHEREAS, 80% of smokers started smoking before the age of 18, and the average initiation age is 12 years old; and
WHEREAS, everyday an estimated 3,900 young people under the age of 18 try their first cigarette and one third of these children will die prematurely from tobacco-related illnesses; and
WHEREAS, to help role model nonsmoking behavior to children and youth; to provide children, youth and their families with a safe, smoke-free environment; and
WHEREAS, there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. It can cause asthma, respiratory infections, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Children should be able to play and exercise without being exposed to harmful effects of secondhand smoke; and
WHEREAS, use of tobacco products in the proximity of children, youth and adults engaging in or watching recreational activities is unhealthy and detrimental to the health of both the participants and observers; and,
WHEREAS, tobacco products, once consumed in public spaces, are often discarded on the ground, thus causing a litter problem and posing a risk of ingestion to children;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Centre Regional Recreation Authority:
• hereby designates the following Authority-operated sites at which the advisory-type signs will be installed:
- Millbrook Marsh Nature Center
- John Hess Softball Field Complex
- Wm. L. Welch Community Swimming Pool
- Park Forest Community Swimming Pool.
• agrees to mount, install and maintain the signs supplied by the Young Lungs At Play program for areas so designated by the Authority or the owning municipality,
• confirms that this is an advisory program, built upon voluntary compliance by park visitors.
• agrees to promote the initiative for park visitors to voluntarily support the program,
• encourages the governing Board/Council of each participating municipality to similarly authorize that play equipment areas in their parks be so designated (these approvals were obtained on 25 Apr 2011),
• agrees to consider expanding this program to new or additional park areas in the future,
• that this policy will become effective as the signs are installed at each designated park.
For more information on the Young Lungs at Play Program
for your PA community, please contact:
Ms. Leslie Hosterman
Clinical Outcomes Group, Inc.
65 King Street
Northumberland, PA 17857