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Clayton Parks Declared Tobacco-Free Zones

December 13, 2013

First and secondhand smoke can have serious health consequences for children, particularly those with asthma. For that reason, the Clayton County Board of Health and the Clayton County Parks and Recreation department teamed up to install “Young Lungs at Play” signs at all Clayton County parks, declaring that each park is a tobacco-free zone.

This sign went up in all 32 of Clayton County's parks, part of an effort to keep secondhand smoke away from kids.

“We want to do everything we can to protect our children, particularly those with asthma who are at greater risk from secondhand smoke,” said Clayton County District Health Director Alpha Fowler Bryan, M.D. “Asthma attacks sent 52,000 Georgians to the emergency room between 2006 and 2010, and many asthma attacks are triggered by secondhand smoke. The ‘Young Lungs at Play’ signs are just another layer of defense in the fight to keep our children healthy and out of the hospital.”

The signs, which are posted prominently at all 32 county park properties, are part of the aggressive steps the county has taken over the last four years to limit smoking in places where children congregate. On June 2, 2009, the Clayton County Board of Commissioners passed Ordinance 2009-85, effectively banning the use of alcohol and tobacco products at all county parks. The ordinance also established stiff penalties for violators, including fines of up to $1,000 and up to six months of jail time.

The “Young Lungs at Play” signs bring additional attention to the ordinance and complement the 100 “Tobacco Free Zone” signs already displayed at various playgrounds and park properties throughout the county.

“The ultimate goal behind this ban on smoking is to encourage healthy living and overall wellness for the citizens of Clayton County,” said Clayton County Parks and Recreation Director Detrick Stanford. “We are delighted that the Board of Commissioners and the Clayton County Board of Health support this initiative as we promote the awareness and overall dangers of secondhand smoke.”

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