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J Community Health. 2003 Apr;28(2):131-7.

Smoke-free parks: a 12-year-old made it happen.

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Tri-County SOUTH Regional Tobacco-Free Project, Riverside, CA, USA.


This case study examines how a 12-year-old in the City of Grand Terrace, California was able to get the city council to adopt a resolution making city parks smoke-free/tobacco-free zones in his community. Over a three-month period of time, this 12-year-old (with tremendous support from his parents and sister) applied for and received a mini-grant from the Tri-County SOUTH Regional Tobacco-Free Project and implemented "The Terrace is GRAND with Smoke-Free Parks" activities. This young man recruited 11 youth and 9 adults, trained them in the basics of tobacco prevention called Tobacco 101, and collected 100 surveys and 809 petition signatures supporting smoke-free parks from residents in Grand Terrace. They also collected trash in their parks and separated it into two groups: tobacco-related trash and all other trash. This 12-year-old met with the mayor of Grand Terrace to ask for support for this issue and scheduled a time to present his group's findings to the city council. On June 22, 2000, the youths presented council members with the tobacco-trash collected, the petition signatures, taped end-to-end, that stretched across the council chambers, and asked the city council to make their parks smoke/tobacco-free. Council members acknowledged the excellent work implemented by these youths, adopted a resolution making all parks (except one senior park) tobacco-free, and agreed to place signage in the parks. On August 24, 2000, the city council presented him with his own "Tobacco-Free Zone" sign as an acknowledgment for his hard work in making parks safe places for youths in Grand Terrace.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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