Manistique parks become smoke-free

Courtesy photo From left, Kristi King, recreation director; David Wesoloski, Sault Tribe health educator; and Manistique Mayor Janet Jeffcott, pose for a photo at Mansitique’s Central Park.

MANISTIQUE — The city of Manistique was recently recognized by the Sault Tribe Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) Grant ­Project for designating parks and outdoor recreation areas tobacco-free, which include cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and e-cigarettes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States. About 20.7 percent of Michigan adults and 10 percent of Michigan youth smoke cigarettes. However, with the emergence of electronic-cigarettes and other “vape” products, 23 percent of Michigan youth are using these new, unregulated devices according to the 2015 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System and the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, respectively.

According to the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, one in three of its adult members smoke — putting them at 1.5 times the risk of developing chronic disease or dying from the use of commercial tobacco.

Tobacco-free recreation areas protect and preserve the environment, promote positive community ­role-modeling for youth, and protect the health, safety, and welfare of all ­community members. The Sault Tribe’s PICH Grant Project provided funding for signs and posts for all outdoor recreational properties owned by the city of ­Manistique. The PICH Grant is funded by the (CDC), which work to ­prevent chronic disease by decreasing tobacco use among adults and youth and by decreasing exposure to secondhand smoke.

“The city of Manistique is happy to participate with the Sault Tribe in designating our parks as ‘smoke-free’ and encouraging users of our park to refrain from tobacco use thereby setting a positive example for our youth and young adults,” stated Sheila Aldrich, Manistique city manager.

The city of Manistique joins over a dozen other communities across the Upper Peninsula that have designated its parks and outdoor recreation areas as tobacco-free.

For more information on tobacco-free outdoor recreation areas, visit www.UP4Health.org or contact David Wesoloski at dwesoloski@saulttribe.net