MONTOUR FALLS, N.Y. (WETM) – The Village of Montour Falls has passed a measure to make all recreational areas tobacco-free thanks to a presentation by local Boy Scouts.

The policy, which includes electronic delivery devices such as e-cigarettes, covers all facilities, parks, trails, open space, and other property owned, leased, rented, contracted, used, or controlled by the Village of Montour Falls.

The Village Board voted to pursue a tobacco-free policy after hearing a presentation from local Boy Scouts, Aidan Thurston and Gabriel Grover, on the findings of a cigarette butt clean-up conducted on Village property.

“It is great that we were able to help create a tobacco-free outdoors policy for the Village of Montour Falls,” said Aidan Thurston, who helped present the idea. “Kids now have a healthier place to play in our community.”

He continued, “I am grateful to the Village of Montour Falls board members for working with us to create this policy. It feels amazing to experience and know that teens can make a difference in our community.”

Additionally, these policies will prevent cigarette butts and filters, most of which never decompose and can harm plants, grass and animals, leech into streams, or cause fires at park and recreation facilities, from being left behind by tobacco users.

In August, Aidan and Gabriel assisted the Village Public Works Department with hanging up the new tobacco-free signage, provided for free by the Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Coalition.

Gabriel Grover stated, “Getting the chance to actually physically hang the signs really made the tobacco-free policy change real for us. Helping to make any healthy changes for our community feels great.”

If you would like to get involved and help make your community a healthier place to live, work, and play, contact the Schuyler County Coalition on Underage Drinking and Drugs at (607)535-8140.