Union County – The County of Union is taking enhanced measures to ensure that their public areas remain smoke-free by placing “Breathe Easy” signs near playgrounds and other high traffic areas in parks and recreational facilities.
“These new signs are a reminder that the Freeholder Board is committed to improving the quality of life for all of our residents including children and families that come to enjoy the outdoors,” said Freeholder Chairman Linda Carter.
The new signs being placed throughout the County, reiterate that these areas are public property and, according to county ordinance 704-2010, should be 100% smoke free.
In 2010, the Freeholder Board amended the no smoking policy in county-owned buildings to include all county-owned recreational areas and facilities. The facilities include ice-skating rinks, playgrounds, running tracks, swimming pools, snack bars, ball fields, tennis courts, boating areas (docks structures) and rest rooms which are located in any county-owned recreational areas.
“The benefits of observing this ordinance go far beyond our individual health, I am glad that we can all work together to make the air quality in our open spaces as clean as possible because, after all, these parks belong to all of us,” said Sergio Granados, Freeholder Liaison to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.
Under the new policy, the county also prohibits smoking at county-sponsored events, such as concerts, fairs, festivals, movies and other events. Violators are subject to a fine of $250 for the first offense, $500 for the second offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense.
“Breathe Easy” signs will be up before the end of the month.