Community Coaltion has some 2014 smoke-free objectives

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By Brian Garner

The Chester County Community Coalition set some objectives at their February meeting for the Smoke Free Communities grant.
Janet Ellis, a part of the community team, said the members of the team administering the program discussed the Chester County School District's tobacco-free policy.
“The district does have a policy, and they updated it in April. There are only two things that keep the policy from being a comprehensive tobacco-free policy. It has to be written into the policy that the district will not accept funds or allow any kind of tobacco advertisement in the schools. Also, the policy needs to state that there will be no tobacco use at any time by anyone on school property; this includes places like football games,” Ellis said.
Ellis reported that Melody Reid with the Coalition met with district Superintendent Dr. Agnes Slayman, and she is in favor of expanding the policy, but the district is not sure of how much can be done to expand it right away, because the policy has just been revised.
“But they are really close (to a comprehensive tobacco-free policy) and that's a good thing,” Ellis said.
The Coalition has also discussed the possibility of contacting the faith community and help them understand how they can have tobacco-free policies in the churches.
Coalition member Gloria Kellerhals pointed out that the City of Chester does not have a tobacco-free ordinance, and she suggested the Coalition get involved in helping the City formulate one. Such an ordnance would affect City Hall, the Farmer's Market and any facility owned by the City.
“I don't know if there are any smokers on City Council, and I don't know whether they'd want to take that stance, but I think it's something we need to take a look at, because the City sets the trend.
Chester County doesn't have a tobacco-free policy, they have a cigarette-free policy,” Kellerhals said.