Sikeston City Council OKs tobacco-free zones near youth sports facilities

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

SIKESTON, Mo. -- A policy establishing tobacco-free zones at the city's youth sports venues was approved by the city council following a recommendation from the Sikeston Park Board.

Park Division employees are posting "tobacco free zone" signs at the various sports facilities where youth baseball, softball, soccer and football are played, designating the areas where tobacco use is now prohibited.

Following discussion at their May 14 regular meeting, the Park Board recommended to the city council to establish tobacco-free zones at the city's various youth sports venues including youth baseball and softball fields in the Recreation Complex, the Complex soccer fields, the Jaycee football field in the Complex and the VFW baseball stadium.

At the May 23 meeting, the Council approved the Park Board's recommendation establishing the tobacco-free policy. The policy covers all tobacco smoking, chewing and dipping. Tobacco use is now restricted to the parking lots at these various venues and removes the smoking, chewing and dipping from the bleacher areas and concession areas, as well as the dugouts and next to player benches. Individuals lighting up or using smokeless tobacco in the restricted areas will be asked to dispose of their tobacco or move to the parking lot.

"The tobacco-free policy will create a healthier environment not only for our children, but for spectators who come out to watch the games," said Jiggs Moore, director of Parks and Recreation. Moore added his department will work with the various youth sports leagues to get the word out to coaches and parents regarding the new tobacco-free policy at their respective venues.

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