Truckee parks might soon be smoke-free |

Truckee parks might soon be smoke-free

Park-goers in Truckee might breathe easier if the Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District approves a proposal to make three local parks smoke-free.The Nevada County Tobacco Prevention Program made a presentation to the district this week encouraging it to adopt a smoke-free policy at Bill Rose Memorial Park, West End Beach and the skate park at Truckee River Regional Park.I think it would be great. Its unfortunate to have to sit in a crowd with people who smoke, plus little kids and even teens seeing adults and parents smoking is a bad influence, said Kimi Caperon, a teen advocate for the prevention program who gives anti-tobacco presentations in local classrooms. Ive seen 2- and 3-year-olds running around playing [at the parks], picking up cigarette butts and putting them in their mouths, and 10-year-olds pretending that theyre smoking.As part of a tobacco prevention project, Caperon and her peers recently participated in a cleanup day in which they picked up cigarette butts. After hours spent at Meadow Park and Truckee River Regional Park, the team had bagged six pounds of butts, Caperon said.Statistically in California, the vast majority of park-goers are non-smokers and want the parks to be smoke-free, said Felicia Sobonya, with the county tobacco prevention program. Our indicators of who uses the parks are babies, toddlers, adolescents and families mostly families with children. And on the days that we were observing the skate park, there was no one there that was of legal smoking age.The park districts board was quick to give the go-ahead for Bill Rose Memorial Park because it was built as a playground for children, but have not yet given the thumbs-up for West End Beach and the skate park because they are more broad-based and serve all ages, said park district General Manager Steve Randall. There was also concern about how the new rule would be enforced, Randall said, although Sobonya was quick to point out that the program is not meant to punish people and should be self-enforcing.The board decided to continue discussing the proposal with recreation department staff in the coming weeks before they make a decision on West End Beach and the skate park, Randall said.

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