WINSLOW (AP) – A health organization will ask the Winslow Town Council to support a resolution that would discourage smoking on public land by posting “Tobacco Free Zone” signs.

Healthy Horizons, one of 31 Healthy Maine Partnerships, hopes to get the Winslow Town Council to embrace a resolution that would discourage smoking on all public land during a meeting Monday.

Although the town would have few ways to enforce the resolution, the proposal could lead to “Tobacco Free Zone” being posted in Winslow.

“People want to be able to go to a place without worrying about smelling or being near cigarette smoke,” said Tina Chapman, directory of Healthy Horizons.

Chapman said adults smoking in public serve as poor role models for children, creating an impression that tobacco use is acceptable once you reach adulthood.

“The main issue is kids see adults smoking, and they think it is an adult thing, and that makes it attractive to them,” Chapman said.

Maine has been one of the nation’s leaders in combating smoking. Citing the dangers of second hand smoke, the state this year made tobacco use in bars illegal, one of just five states with such a law at the time.

While smoking outdoors is often viewed as relatively harmless in regard to secondhand smoke, James L. Repace, a health physicist based in Bowie, Md., said secondhand smoke outside can be just as dangerous.

People are only safe if the wind blows cigarette away from you, Repace said.

“But if you’re downwind from smokers, that is another story entirely because the smoke will blow toward you. And if there is not wind at all and you are among smokers, it can be just as bad as being inside,” he said.

AP-ES-08-08-04 1448EDT

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