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No smoke and mirrors: Phoenix officially gets first smoke-free park

PHOENIX — At the urging of a group of students from Trevor G. Browne High School in Phoenix, the El Oso Park now prohibits the use of all tobacco products.

Students with the STAND Youth Coalition fought for the park near 75th and Osborn to become non-smoking, which eventually led to the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board approving a policy that will prohibit tobacco use for a two-year pilot program.

Keith Walker with Maricopa County Public Health Office of Tobacco and Chronic Disease Prevention said the students were determined to implement the program to make a difference in their community.

“The (students) felt like this is a family-friendly park and that implementing this pilot program for a tobacco-free park was something that they feel can make a very big impact in the community,” he said.

The policy went into effect earlier this month, but signage donated by the Maricopa County Department of Public Health were installed at smoking “hot spots” this week.