Charlevoix Promoting Tobacco Free Parks and Beaches

“I think it will go a long way to curbing issues with teenage smoking in the community,” said Rob Straebel, City Manager.

The city of Charlevoix will soon be promoting their public parks and beaches as tobacco free.

Supporters of the policy approved by the Charlevoix City Council last week say it’s a step in making the community a better place to be.

“City council feels that the less that teens see adults smoking in public parks, the less prone they will be to take up smoking,” said Straebel.

That’s the idea, the more tobacco free environments around the area, the more kids will stay away from smoking.

“Research is showing that less youth are smoking because of the social norm change happening so that’s really our ultimate goal, so they will see less and less and less and be less attracted to it or start,” said Susan Pulaski, Community Health Coordinator for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan.

Although, it’s not a regulation, no tickets or warnings will be given, it’s more of a community promotion.

“We don’t have the police officers or the staff on hand to actually enforce something like this, but I think signage is a modest approach we can take to certainly curb teenage smoking within our community,” said Straebel.

Plans have been made to put up signs within a week or so around the beaches and parks to remind the public to follow the new tobacco free policy.

“Were trying to expedite this as quickly as possible and get the word out to some of our visitors in Charlevoix,” said Straebel.

So far, feedback has been positive from the public.

Health department officials say, the majority want to see this change and hope people recognize the signs and follow what they say.

“We’ll re-evaluate the approach in about a year or so and see if we want to change any of the regulations or change the way we go about this,” said Straebel.