Alberta, VA – The Town of Alberta parks and outdoor recreational areas are officially tobacco-free and e-cigarette-free. On May 8, 2023, the Alberta Town Council voted to add a voluntary policy to prohibit tobacco use in outside parks and trails.
The vote was initiated by Y Street, Virginia’s largest youth-led movement and a program of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth. Y Street members strive to ensure 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 government officials to adopt comprehensive tobacco-free and e-cigarette-free outdoor policies.
Joy Bell, a Y Street member and high school sophomore at Brunswick High School, presented to the town council to share why this issue is important and how the town can provide an even greater outdoor experience for its residents by going 100% tobacco-free and vapor-free stating, “I support Share The Air because I believe that my family and I should not have to be around second-hand smoke and the effects that it will have on us and others. We like to enjoy the outdoors and want to be able to enjoy being outside without having to worry about what could happen to our health while we are outdoors.” The Town of Alberta strives to create dedicated spaces that provide residents with a space to be active, relax, and gather outdoors and for this reason, the council passed a motion to adopt a tobacco-free outdoor policy and partner with Share The Air.
The impact of the new policy is expected to reduce tobacco and vape litter and residents’ exposure to secondhand smoke, and promote positive role modeling for youth who visit the county’s parks and outdoor recreational areas. The Town of Alberta joins the growing list of Share The Air’s partners, becoming its 14th partner, and localities with tobacco-free and e-cigarette-free outdoor policies. The Town of Alberta will receive free tobacco-free signage as part of its partnership with Share The Air to post as a reminder to park visitors.
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.