Taylor High School students stood up and spoke out against tobacco. As a result, village property in the WeTHRIVE! communities of Addyston and North Bend is now tobacco-free, including e-cigarettes and other vaping devices.
The students are part of the Three Rivers STAND group, which is made up of seniors in Nancy Flickinger’s class (Nancy is a 2017 WeTHRIVE! Community Champion). Throughout this past school year, they worked with Hamilton County Public Health (HCPH) and PreventionFIRST! as part of a tobacco prevention grant from the Ohio Department of Health.
After students presented information about tobacco to the village councils, ordinances were passed by Addyston on March 19 and North Bend on March 26. Both ordinances prohibit smoking cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and electronic cigarettes, and the use of tobacco and smokeless tobacco, on or in all village property. This includes parks and playgrounds. Signs were provided that will be posted on village property.
Addyston Mayor Dan Pillow thinks going tobacco-free is especially important for the community’s children, who he says already face health risks like allergies, diabetes, and obesity. “Life is tough enough for our kids,” said Dan, who is also chair of the Addyston WeTHRIVE! team. “The village of Addyston has taken the stand that we do not want to add the burden of smoking, secondhand smoke or tobacco products of any kind on our properties to deprive our kids of the opportunity to breathe cleaner air.”
North Bend Mayor Doug Sammons, who is a member of the village’s WeTHRIVE! team, was in favor of the students’ recommendation to pass the ordinance. “Smoking has been proven to be a severe health issue and it’s good to advise people to never start,” he said. “It’s never a good choice.”
WeTHRIVE! commends the Three Rivers students whose efforts will make a difference for generations to come. “They have been a great group of students to work with and they have proved that the youth are very impactful,” said HCPH health educator Dominique Walker.