Enjoy your Tobacco Free Parks

Reducing the incidence and impact of chronic disease is the #1 health priority and focus area for Mecklenburg County.

Dr. Marcus Plescia, Mecklenburg County Health Director, comes to his post with a mission to take aggressive steps to make a difference on chronic disease.

March 18, 2015 marks a bold step forward in the drive to create a healthier Mecklenburg.

From now on Mecklenburg County’s park system, including all greenways, parks and property will be tobacco-free. Tobacco-free means no cigarettes, cigars, pipes, cigarillos, electronic cigarettes, or smokeless tobacco. The only exceptions to this rule will be for golf courses and some regional parks.

The www.tobaccofreemeck.org movement is designed to protect people from exposure to second hand smoke, promote healthy lifestyles, lower tobacco use rates (especially for teens which has recently shown a disturbing trend up in usage), and reduce tobacco litter and fire risk.

Mecklenburg County has created a nifty 2 minute video on the new policy.

Nicotine is a devilishly addictive substance, and despite heroic individual willpower, some folks still need help breaking away. Nicotine lights up circuitry in the brain that triggers feelings of pleasure – so putting down a cigarette or cigar is not always so simple. This new effort to create tobacco-free parks in Mecklenburg encourages folks to reach out to www.Quitlinenc.com online or by phone at 1-800-784-8669 (1-800-QUIT-NOW) for help in breaking away from tobacco products.

There is much more Mecklenburg County is doing to address the prevalence of chronic disease in our region – including efforts to promote healthy eating and increase physical exercise – but this courageous step forward for tobacco-free parks in our county is a great step forward in reducing the impact of chronic disease.

#MecklenburgCounty #tobaccofree #DonJonas

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