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Supporting Smokefree Air & Tobacco-Free Lives

Essex County Freeholders make county parks smokefree (Three Earned Media Stories: Star-Ledger, reporter Jessica Mazzola;Tapinto; Baristanet, Georgette Gilmore )

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On October 7, 2015 the Essex County Freeholders unanimously voted in favor of making the County’s parks and recreational areas smokefree. Freeholder Vice President Brendan Gill led the initiative for the ordinance, and he was supported by Freeholder President Britnee Timberlake and his fellow Board Members.

It started in April 2013 when GASP hosted an informational table at the Essex County Earth Day event at the Environmental Center. GASP educated county policymakers present at the event on the benefits of smokefree county parks. Since then, 14 Essex County municipalities have made their parks smokefree, with GASP serving as the lead educational resource provider. Fast forward to February 2015 when GASP presented at the County Freeholders meeting about the health, environmental and economic benefits from making county parks smokefree.

GASP continued to follow-up with the Freeholders, providing updates when municipalities in Essex County made their parks smokefree. In summer 2015, Freeholder Gill spearheaded the initiative to collaborate with County officials on making the county parks smokefree. GASP provided additional educational resources and attended the introduction and readings of the ordinance.When the ordinance takes effect later this month, it will positively impact the County’s 800,000 residents as well as visitors who enjoy the county’s park and recreational system.

Media coverage from NJ Star-Ledger ,  Tapinto and Baristanet.
GASP’S October 7, 2015 Press Release and GASP’s Facebook page 
Essex County Freeholder Vice President Brendan Gill’s website  and Facebook page.

group banner photo w Essex County freeholders 10-7-15L-r: GASP Program Manager Chinemelum Onwumelu, GASP Executive Director Karen Blumenfeld, Esq., Freeholder President Britnee Timberlake, Freeholder Cynthia Toro, Freeholder Vice President Brendan Gill, Freeholder Pat Sebold, Ivy Hill resident Louise Layton, Freeholder Leonard Luciano, and GASP Interns Carly Fein and Kadek Ridoi Rahayu.