Fauquier County, VA. – On January 20, Fauquier County Parks and Recreation made the decision to recommit to establishing its parklands as tobacco-free and e-cigarette-free by reinforcing its existing parks rules that prohibit tobacco use within 50 feet of sporting events, spectators, or gathering in outside parks. Parks and outdoor recreational areas are dedicated spaces within our communities that provide youth, adults, and families a space to be active, relax, and gather outdoors. With Fauquier County Parks & Recreation’s tobacco-free outdoor policies, everyone of all ages can now do this in cleaner and healthier outdoor areas.
The commitment was initiated by Y Street, Virginia’s largest youth-led movement and a program of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth. Y Street youth members strive to make sure Virginians have equitable access to clean and healthier outdoor environments through its campaign, Share The Air. Share The Air aims to create 100% tobacco-free parklands by encouraging local park and recreation departments and local government officials to adopt comprehensive tobacco-free and e-cigarette-free outdoor policies and support them in doing so by providing free resources such as tobacco-free signage.
In 2021, the Director of the Fauquier County Parks and Recreation Department, Gary Rzepecki, met with Y Street members from Fauquier High School to discuss their existing park rules surrounding tobacco use and how they can make an even greater difference by partnering with the Share The Air campaign. On January 20, 2023, the Park Director confirmed their commitment to the campaign and creating 100% tobacco-free outdoor public spaces by signing a commitment form. Fauquier County is proud to partner with Share The Air with Mr. Rzepecki noting that “having tobacco-free spaces in Fauquier County Parks fits our mission of providing spaces for mental and physical health and wellness activities. Partnering with the Share The Air campaign promotes a healthier environment and strengthens our existing partnerships in Fauquier County and the state of Virginia.”
With Fauquier County partnering with Share The Air and joining the growing list of local parklands with tobacco-free and e-cigarette-free outdoor policies, more Virginians now have access to outdoor spaces free from secondhand smoke and vape aerosol, and tobacco and vape litter.
About the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY)
Established in 1999 by the Virginia General Assembly, the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth empowers Virginia’s youth to make healthy choices by reducing and preventing youth tobacco and nicotine use, substance use, and childhood obesity.
VFHY takes a comprehensive approach to prevention work that includes reaching about 50,000 children each year through classroom-based prevention programs in public schools, after-school programs, community centers, day cares and prevention programs across the state. VFHY’s award-winning marketing campaigns deliver prevention messaging to more than 500,000 children annually. In addition, VFHY’s research program provides scientific insight on methods to effectively reduce tobacco use. Since 2002, VFHY has funded 40 large research projects at universities throughout Virginia. For more information, visit www.vfhy.org.