PETOSKEY – The Petoskey Youth Soccer Association (PYSA) is sending a strong message to the community, and to anyone using its Click Road Soccer Complex, that tobacco use is seriously detrimental to the public health. At its most recent meeting, the PYSA Board voted to institute tobacco-free policies at the complex that will complement the 24/7 tobacco-free policies adopted last August by Petoskey Schools.
"Our goal is to demonstrate to our youth that tobacco use is not part of a healthy lifestyle," said Tricia Lamberti, PYSA Executive Director. "We believe that this policy can play a part in reducing youth tobacco use in our community, which will eventually save lives."
According to Susan Pulaski, Community Health Coordinator for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, nearly 90 percent of "new" smokers begin smoking before age 18.
"By adopting this policy, PYSA is affirming that tobacco use and secondhand smoke don't belong in park areas, where people go to improve their fitness and enjoy nature," Pulaski said. She noted that PYSA's policy will reinforce the recently-adopted 24/7 tobacco-free school policies, and contribute to a tobacco-free environment throughout the community.
Pulaski added that the Health Department is looking forward to helping other agencies and organizations institute tobacco-free policies throughout Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet and Otsego Counties.
For more information about tobacco-free parks and beaches, contact Pulaski at (231) 347-5813.
The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is mandated by the Michigan Public Health Code to promote wellness, prevent disease, provide quality healthcare, address health problems of vulnerable populations, and protect the environment for the residents and visitors of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties. For more information, visit www.nwhealth.org or call (800) 432-4121.