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Smoking restrictions make fair more kid-friendly

WESTPORT - A public health organization is working with the Essex County Fair to curb smoking around children.

The Adirondack Tobacco Free Network, which serves Clinton, Essex, and Franklin counties, is partnering with fair organizers to prohibit smoking in areas known to draw lots of children.

Karen Derusha is a public health educator for the Adirondack Tobacco Free Network.

"We've been working with all the fairs for the past three years," said Derusha. "They're all putting some restrictions in place as to where people should smoke when they are on the fairgrounds."

Organizers at the Clinton, Essex, and Franklin county fairs have also agreed to prohibit cigarette vendors from sampling on the fairgrounds, Derusha said.

The idea behind the restrictions is two-fold: prevent children from suffering the negative effects of second-hand smoke, and encourage adults to set a better example around children by not smoking.

"Last year, the grandstand area was designated tobacco-free," explained Bertha Rand, secretary for the Essex County Fair. "We will continue that, and the areas where we have the small show acts are to be designated Tobacco Free because they are where children congregate." "Smoke-Free Kid Zone" signs, provided by the ATFN, will also be posted in the carnival area. By law, smoking is also prohibited in any building on the fairgrounds.

The Tobacco Free Network sponsored the Essex County Idol Contest last year and will do so again this year.

"As you know, you need clear lungs to do that, so it is good partnership," said Rand.

For more information about the Adirondack Tobacco Free Network, call 565-4993.

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