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Alanson parks go tobacco-free

Alanson The Alanson Village Council has adopted a tobacco-free policy for its four parks. According to Council clerk Iris Lesh, the new policy supports the Council's belief that tobacco use in park areas is detrimental to the health of everyone using the park system.

"Our goal is to demonstrate to youth that tobacco use is not a part of a healthy lifestyle," Lesh said. "We believe that this policy can play a part in reducing youth tobacco use in our community, which will eventually save lives." She added that parents, officials and other community leaders can serve as positive role models for youth by choosing to live tobacco-free.

Susan Pulaski, Community Health Coordinator for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, said she is thrilled to see Alanson joining the ranks of communities and park systems that are formalizing their commitment to healthy, tobacco-free living for residents.

"By adopting this policy, Alanson 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 Alanson'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 communities 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. Call (800) 432-4121 or visit to learn more.