Montville council votes for ban on tobacco in parks

Smoking-Damages Montville, Conn. — The Montville Town Council late Monday night banned the use of tobacco products at all recreational facilities, making it the third community in the state to adopt such a provision.

Officials hailed the move as a major public health initiative. It takes effect May 11 and caps more than a year of work by the Parks and Recreation Commission to outlaw the practice.

“Kudos to the Parks and Recreation Commission. It’s long overdue,” said councilor Ellen Hillman.

Language in the ordinance prohibits the use of tobacco at Camp Oakdale, Fair Oaks School, Desjardin Park and “large and small pavilions” in the town’s recreation portfolio.

Among its strongest backers is Uncas Health District Director Patrick McCormack, who urged the council to approve the regulation at a public hearing Monday.

“Prevention is the key to public health, and we truly believe the ordinance will remind people of the need to protect the youngest members of our population,” he said.

Once Montville puts the policy in place, it will extend to those who want to rent a field or playing surface for tournaments or other events.

Eileen Cicchese, vice chairwoman of the Parks and Recreation Commission and an industry employee for 30 years, said the ban was born out of a walkthrough of town recreational facilities about a year and a half ago, where officials noticed many people smoking at Camp Oakdale.

“We were quite taken aback by that,” she said. “It’s most important that our youth get the message that we care about what happens in our parks.”

The provision would create a $99 fine for violators.

Montville Police Lt. Leonard Bunnell Jr. said at earlier meetings authorities are prepared to enforce the ban.

McCormack said the policy will be effective because it takes hold almost immediately and at no cost to the general public.

“It’s a preventative effort that should have little to no cost to taxpayers,” he said.

Similar Posts:

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!