High school students pursue quest for smoke-free parks

BLACKFOOT—The student health council at Blackfoot's Independence High School is not giving up on its quest to see 'smoke-free' parks in the city.
Members of the student health council will give a presentation (on behalf of the Southeastern Idaho Public Health's Tobacco Prevention Program) at Tuesday's city council meeting. The student presentation will be followed by a public hearing on the issue.
This will be the second time that the student health council from Independence has addressed the council about implementing a 'smoke-free' policy in the parks. High school senior Tony Davis, who has been on the council since the beginning, said that more and more students are joining there cause.
"The student health council is a strong body and we won't give up," he said. "There's has been a lot of publicity on the things that we want to accomplish and more students want to be a part of it. The council is growing."
Student Nayeli Morales who has also been active in the student health council's mission to see 'smoke-free' parks said, "Some people think that the students here at Independence are a bunch of juvenile delinquents. They don't take the time to see why we are here and what we hope to accomplish. Not everyone here is a bad kid. You can't judge a book by its cover."
The students, along with Traci Lambson from Southeastern Idaho Public Health (SIPH), have consulted with councilman Rich Woodfin, who is over city parks, on the issue.
Lambson has told the council that 88 percent of Idahoans are smoke-free and that if Blackfoot were to adopt a smoke-free ordinance for the city parks, that the public health department would provide park signage, assist in policy development and promote an education campaign.
The student health council and the SIPH encourage the public to attend Tuesday's council meeting to hear what they have to say and express their opinion on the subject.