The Village of Altamont Board unanimously adopted a resolution making village parks tobacco and ENDS-free after hearing testimony from two 9-year old residents about the benefits. Erin Burby and Kyle Efaw, 3rd graders at Altamont Elementary School, were joined by seven of their classmates at the June 7 meeting. The two students read speeches they had written as part of a classroom project assigned by their teacher, Annemarie Farrell.

Efaw highlighted the importance of protecting people from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. He said, “It is important for a park to be about staying healthy. . .If people are smoking in a park around kids and the kid could breathe in second hand smoking and can get sick.” He also talked about the impact on kids of seeing other people smoking. “Seeing adult or older kids smoke might make other kids want to smoke and it is bad for you. 60% of kids who smoke started by the age of 14 years old.”

Burby spoke of the harms resulting from tobacco litter. “The smoker could leave the cigarettes on the ground in the park and animals (and sometimes kids) could eat them.”

We couldn’t have said it better.

Congratulations to all of Ms. Farrell’s students for their activism and to the Altamont Village Board for being responsive to their young constituents’ opinions.

See photos and read more in the Altamont Enterprise here.