Friday August 2, 2013

SHARON (AP) -- The town of Sharon isn’t the first in Vermont to prohibit smoking on town-owned property, but it’s going further with its new Tobacco Free Community Policy.

Vermont Public Radio reports (http://bit.ly/13zB54E) that the town recently updated its tobacco use policy to include a statement describing its goal of protecting the health of all community members. In addition to prohibiting the use of tobacco products on town-owned property and in town-owned buildings and vehicles, the policy says the town will take other steps to discourage the use of tobacco by employees and citizens.

"Tobacco use continues to be a leading cause of chronic disease and premature death in the United States," the policy states. As both an employer and an overseer of community policies, the Sharon Select Board feels strongly that it should protect the health of all community members by adopting a tobacco-free policy for all town owned properties, buildings, and vehicles, effective August 1, 2013."

The town’s efforts will include actively referring employees to smoking cessation programs and giving them time and incentives to participate. The town also will urge local businesses to establish tobacco-free zones and will promote cessation and prevention programs at town-wide events.

Sharon Selectman Paul Haskell proposed the changes in an attempt to "strengthen the message that the town actively supports healthy lifestyle choices and a healthy community in general," according to meeting minutes.


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