Hightstown parks now smoke free

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Hightstown Borough adopted an ordinance at its Sept. 19 meeting that prohibits smoking in parks and recreational areas as well municipal vehicles owned, leased, and operated by the borough.
The parks and recreational areas include Association Park, Dawes Park, Memorial Park, and Roger C. Cook Greenway.
“This new rule means that residents can enjoy our parks smoke free. This is a very positive rule that is good for the public and the environment,” said Mayor Larry Quattrone.
“This is a quality of life issue for our residents. It sets the standard and expectation of our community. I’m thrilled that we are protecting families and children from second hand smoke at our parks,” said Councilman Connor Montferrat.
Last month, the chairs of the Parks and Recreation, Environmental, and Board of Health came to support the passing of the ordinance.
“The commission and its members fully supporting this ordinance,” said Stacey Judge, chair of the Parks and Recreation Commission
She mentioned how the borough could connect with the National Parks Service Healthy Parks Healthy People program. Mrs. Judge also said passing the ordinance would help Hightstown gain points for Sustainable New Jersey.
Barbara Jones, Chair of the Environmental Commission, said that during park cleanup events, the item that is most picked up because of littering is cigarette butts.
Jean Ray, chair of Board of Health, said the board and its members were fully behind the idea of making the parks smoke free as they see it as a public health issue.
Local smoke free ordinances regulating outdoor places have been adopted in 295 municipalities in New Jersey. In Mercer County, regulations have been passed in Ewing, Princeton, City of Trenton, and West Windsor Township.
Signs are free of charge through the New Jersey Prevention Network, Coalition for a Health New Jersey.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that since 1964, approximately 2.5 million nonsmokers have died from health problems caused by exposure to second hand smoke. There are no safe levels of smoke and the health effects for children exposed include infections, asthma attacks, respiratory issues, bronchitis, pneumonia, and a greater risk for sudden infant death syndrome. In non-smoking adults, exposures are associates with heart disease, lung cancer, and stroke.