Annette Haining the Marshall County Tobacco Education Coordinator addressed the Bourbon Town Council last week seeking their support to make their parks smoke-free.
She told the council she would like to help them implement a smoke-free policy or ordinance for the parks. In doing her research she found that Bourbon had no smoke-free policy or ordinance for the town’s parks. She also visited the parks and found no signage referring to not smoking in the parks.
Haining said the reason for considering a smoke-free policy or ordinance is the health factor for the community. She said secondhand smoke and the negative impact on the environment with cigarette butts that are left behind and kids play in that area and now vaping cartridges and disposable vapes are being discarded and they have lots of chemicals and again it is where the children are playing.
The discussion opened up with the Bourbon Town Council and Council President Ward Byers bringing up the smoke-free parks in Plymouth and Marshall County. Haining said Plymouth and the County Park Board implemented policies while Culver has an ordinance. She said both the policies and ordinance address vaping as well as cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoking.
Byers asked how the policies were enforced and Haining said, “It is only enforced per word of mouth, advertising, and signage.”
Haining said Smoke-Free Marshall County is willing to assist with the expense of signage that would promote the town’s logo, the Breath Easy logo, and would include cigarettes, vaping, and marijuana.
Councilman Terry Clemens asked if a policy is as effective as an ordinance and Haining said with an ordinance the police can ticket someone with a fine. Haining said, “If you really want to push this and make a healthier community then you would probably want the ordinance.”
Councilman Les McFarland said if the town is interested in making the parks smoke-free he felt the ordinance was a better way to go. Councilman Clemens said he liked that the ordinance has a little more teeth in it.
The Bourbon Town Council asked the town attorney to create an ordinance making the Bourbon parks smoke-free. The Town Council will consider it at their December meeting.