Franklin County Now Has 2 Communities That Have E-Cigarette-Free and Tobacco-Free Parks!
Over the past 8 years, Franklin County has led the way with smoke-free and tobacco-free park ordinances. They are in place in Enosburg Falls, St. Albans City, Georgia and Highgate. Swanton opted for signage to promote no tobacco use in all of their recreation areas.
We leapt forward (again) in our leadership.
Franklin County now has two communities, Highgate and Enosburg Falls, which also ban electronic-cigarette use in their parks. Thanks to the leadership of the Selectboard in Highgate and the Village Trustees in Enosburg Falls, the growing use of e-cigarettes among VT youth is starting to be addressed.
It seems as though e-cigarette, e-hookah, vaping products, and the like, are everywhere. They’re on countertops in most convenience stores, advertised in print and online, and in the news continually. Until very recently, they are relatively unregulated, although in VT, they are illegal for anyone under 18 to purchase. Thanks to the legislators in Montpelier, they will soon also be banned in all indoor places and cars where smoking is already prohibited in VT.
Tobacco control advocates fear this widespread promotion and limited regulations are factors in the 16% of Franklin County youth who have used these products in the past 30 days, according to 2015 survey data. (31% of Franklin County youth have ever tried them! Yikes!) Keep in mind, only 11% of our region’s youth use cigarettes regularly!
That’s why Enosburg Falls High School’s OVX (Our Voices Xposed) group has dedicated its work over the past two years to increasing awareness of the dangers of these products. They spoke with local business owners, medical professionals, parents, decision makers , the media and even lawmakers in Montpelier to share their concern for the impact of these products on youth in particular. Their banners were on display throughout the community this winter.
As a result of their dedication, focus and initiative, their community is now a safer and healthier community for all. Congratulations to the EFHS OVX group for their initiative. And a huge thank you to Highgate and the Village of Enosburg Falls for their leadership in making their community parks safe, clean spaces for all.