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Smoke-Free Parks Celebrated in Ft. Mitchell

The organization created to push for healthy initiatives in Northern Kentucky communities is celebrating a new policy decision in Ft. Mitchell.

On July 1, all city-owned parks in Ft. Mitchell were declared tobacco-free under a resolution passed by the city council in May.

The new policy prohibits the use of cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco products in all the city’s public parks.

The tobacco-free parks effort was spearheaded by the LiveWell Ft. Mitchell coalition, a group of committed community members, health advocates and businesses collaborating to make the healthiest choice the easiest choice for everyone living and working in Ft. Mitchell. The coalition received support and technical assistance from the Northern Kentucky Health Department and funding from Interact for Health for this initiative.

The passage of the tobacco-free ordinance in Ft. Mitchell parks is the first policy change driven by a LiveWell NKY community coalition.

“This resolution helps to create healthy and safe environments within all of Ft. Mitchell- especially for children and youth. It aligns with LiveWell NKY’s goal to create a culture of health in Northern Kentucky,” said Stephanie Bogenschutz, a St. Elizabeth Healthcare employee and co-chair of the LiveWell Ft. Mitchell coalition.

To celebrate the passage of the tobacco-free ordinance, the LiveWell Ft. Mitchell coalition hosted a movie night on July 22 at General Ormbsy Mitchell Park. Attendees enjoyed performances from Circus Mojo, interactive games and healthy snacks while watching a screening of “ET”.

LiveWell Ft. Mitchell is part of LiveWell NKY, a larger regional initiative designed to improve the health of Northern Kentucky residents through changes in policy and environments.  LiveWell NKY is a key strategy of the myNKY work plan, driven by Skyward.

“Systems changes are critical to building a culture of good health,” said Laura Richardson, a Senior Health Educator at the Northern Kentucky Health Department.  “Tobacco-free parks promote community wellness, create healthy role models for youth, reduce harmful secondhand smoke exposure, and reduce litter.”

In addition to Ft. Mitchell, the cities of Covington, Newport and Ludlow, and Gallatin County are LiveWell NKY pilot communities. 

Financial and in-kind support for LiveWell NKY community coalitions comes from St. Elizabeth Healthcare and the Northern Kentucky Health Department.  To learn more about the LiveWell NKY initiative or to get involved, visit www.livewellnky.org.

-Staff report

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