The Florida Department of Health in Franklin County and the Franklin County Tobacco-Free Partnership would like to recognize Apalachicola city commissioners for their commitment to protecting the health of children where they play.

At their regularly scheduled meeting June 5, the Apalachicola commissioners were presented with a new resolution to support smoke-free parks with signage for all city owned and operated parks that include playground equipment. The resolution bans the use of tobacco products and e-cigarettes within 50 feet of parks with playground equipment and other facilities designed primarily for use by children.

Riley Cooper, a seventh grade Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) member presented to the commissioners and proposed the new resolution. “On behalf of the Franklin County SWAT and youth, I hope you agree to this proposed resolution with signage,” Riley said.

The city commissioners unanimously approved the resolution.

“One of the most important steps a community can take to improve the health of its residents is to create more smoke-free places” said Sarah Hinds, administrator for the Florida Department of Health in Franklin and Gulf Counties. “We want to thank the city of Apalachicola for their effort to reduce secondhand smoke exposure and promote healthier environments for children.

New smoke-free signage purchased by the Tobacco Free Partnership of Franklin County will be displayed around the parks.

The state health department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

The department’s Tobacco Free Florida campaign is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund. Since the program began in 2007, more than 159,000 Floridians have successfully quit using one of Tobacco Free Florida's free tools and services. There are now approximately 451,000 fewer adult smokers in Florida than there was 10 years ago, and the state has saved $17.7 billion in health care costs.

To learn more about Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way services, visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com or follow the campaign on Facebook or on Twitter.

For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.

Jessie Pippin is the public health services manager for the Florida Department of Health in Franklin County