The Worcester County Health Department and Worcester County Recreation and Parks are going tobacco free.
Worcester County Health Officer Debbie Goeller announced plans to make several of its sites tobacco-free campuses effective February 1. Clients and visitors will be asked to voluntarily comply with the new tobacco free campus policy at the Snow Hill Health Center, Ocean City Youth Center, and Worcester County Dental Center in Berlin effective February 1. This means that no tobacco products will be allowed inside or outdoors on the campuses.
WCRP Director Paige Hurley embraced the idea of extending the tobacco ban to all county parks and recreation facilities, and on January 2, 2013 the Commissioners unanimously adopted Resolution No. 13-1 amending Worcester County Park Regulations to adopt a tobacco-free policy for all Worcester County parks and recreation facilities that became effective upon adoption.
The new WCHD policy has been many months in the making and was developed by a committee of health department staff and community partners. Likewise, WCRP staff and the Recreation Advisory Board hosted surveys to gauge public opinion about the coming change. Responses to both agencies' proposed policy changes were met with support.
One reason why Goeller decided to take action to make the health campuses tobacco free is because of recent evidence that shows clients who receive treatment for tobacco use are more likely to reduce their use of alcohol and other drugs, have less psychiatric symptoms and enjoy better treatment outcomes overall.
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