WEIRTON - A new "no smoking" policy is in effect at Weirton's municipal parks and grounds.
The Weirton Board of Parks and Recreation established the new policy at its July meeting in response to national reports spelling out the health risks involved with secondhand smoke and its effects, especially on children.
The National Cancer Institute says secondhand smoke "is responsible for an estimated 3,400 lung cancer deaths and 46,000 deaths due to heart disease among non-smokers each year."
"Secondhand smoke is also responsible for lower respiratory tract infections in an estimated 150,000 to 300,000 children each year," NCI said.
Recreation Director Terry Weigel says the policy evolved from the park board's belief that it has a responsibility to look after the safety and well-being of all patrons who visit its attractions.
Eliminating second-hand smoke and the litter often associated with smoking reduces the health risk to others using city recreation facilities, he said.
New "no smoking" signs soon will be posted warning patrons at Starvaggi and Marland Heights parks of the new policy.