MADERA, California (KSEE/KPGE) – After Madera City Council voted unanimously to ban smoking and vaping in city parks back in May, the first sign has now gone up at Lions Town and Country Park.
“The staff of the Madera County Public Health, Tobacco Control Program has been working for almost two years towards this day. We’ve always had in mind that we want to be protecting the health of our community, and we’re a community that loves our parks,” said Alan Gilmore with Madera County Department of Public Health.
“To be able to have this day, where we know that going forward, it’s going to be a safer, cleaner environment for people who come and use these parks. I think that just makes Madera an example for other communities to follow.”
Partnering with the Department of Public Health’s Tobacco Control program were members of Students Working Against Tobacco, or S.W.A.T.
“I come to parks pretty often as a student-athlete and we come and we play our games. We usually play football at this park. When smoking is present, it’s getting into our systems and that’s not something that I choose to put into my system and I just feel like with this sign I can be worry-free about any smoke near me,” said Anahi Perez.
It’s hoped that the ordinance will also teach about the dangers of tobacco.
“It’s to help educate the public, not to any way damage them or their reputation or harass them for whatever actions they’re doing,” added Maria Ramirez.
The ban went into effect in June. It includes public parks, picnic areas, playgrounds, sports fields, walking paths, gardens, bike paths, riding trails, swimming pools, skate parks, and outdoor dining areas.