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Parsippany Parks Should Be Smoke-Free, Girl Scouts Request

Girl Scout Troop No. 4383 of Rockaway Meadows original presentation in December was postponed due to weather.

Girl Scout Troop No. 4383 of Rockaway Meadows
Girl Scout Troop No. 4383 of Rockaway Meadows

Girl Scout Troop No. 4383 of Rockaway Meadows, troop leaders and the Morris County Smoke-Free Parks Coalition was set to make a presentation to the Parsippany-Troy Hills township council in December, but weather postponed it.

On Tuesday, the girl scouts got another chance and appeared in front of the council with Troop Leaders Jennifer Lorencovitz and Jennifer Lepre.

 “We’ve identified the need to have smoke-free parks in Parsippany-Troy Hills because we care about the environment,” said the junior girl scouts. Their presentation is part of their process in obtaining the bronze award, which is the highest honor for a junior girl scout.

The girls then listed off common statistics on the negative effects of tobacco and smoking.

“Global Advisors on Smokefree Policy has an abundance of information available on it and we provided some assistance to the troop when working on this project,” said Cara Ann Murphy of the Global Advisors on Smokefree Policy organization, adding that the girl scouts "will likely be before the council again in February."

The troop leaders added that Madison just made their parks smoke-free.

Councilman Michael dePierro thanked the girl scouts.

“They did an excellent job,” he said. “The council would need to discuss this and see what parameters we want to put on this. The Knoll Country Club would have to be excluded. If patrons couldn’t go outside onto the patio, you would lose” business.

After discussions, if they agree to move forward, it would be drafted and then introduced at a council meeting. DePierro added that when it’s introduced, an invitation would go out to the troop to come back for that council meeting.

Cindy Meakem from the Center for Prevention and Counseling and Coordinator of Tobacco Free for Northern New Jersey was there to support the troop along with Lucille Talbot, also from the Northern New Jersey coalition.

“We’re here in support of the girls and I want to commend them and I’m so proud,” said Meakem. “This is something you might want to take into consideration.”

“It was (the girl scouts’) idea and they reached out to the coalition,” added Talbot.

Talbot resides in Denville, but has a home in Parsippany, which makes her “very interested in smoke-free parks” for the township.”

“I think it’s really important for all of New Jersey to adopt smoke-free parks,” said Talbot, adding that the tie between cancer and smoking is another reason why municipalities should consider this initiative.

“Every town council has to determine what works best for them and we understand that,” said Talbot. 

Lisa Camacho January 16, 2014 at 06:53 AM
Wow! I'm so happy the Girl Scouts are doing this. They'd get my vote!
Lisa Camacho January 16, 2014 at 06:55 AM
Will it include dog parks?
John January 16, 2014 at 07:15 AM
What I find interesting is you have states banning smoking virtually everywhere (which I have no problem with) but are now embracing more and more open and legal pot smoking. Oh the irony....
Selene January 16, 2014 at 10:34 AM
Really? How about poverty, homelessness, unemployment, fracking (environmental issues), civil liberties, teen pregnancy, drug abuse (esp. heroin, the big killer) ...there are so many REAL problems in the world that can be addressed by youth groups...there is no honor in skirting the pressing issues of our society to obsessing over the stupid ones like banning smoking in the parks? OUTSIDE? Really? Keep your nasty UNHEALTHY cookies.
Marsia Parella January 16, 2014 at 12:40 PM
Selene you are SO RIGHT!!Are the Girl Scouts serious with this? It is beyond rediculous and there are MUCH MORE important issues and LEAVE SMOKERS ALONE! I DO NOT SMOKE but we dont need more laws. And yes me and my friends Will NOT buy the cookies either.
Edward Lepre January 17, 2014 at 12:41 PM
I am very PROUD of Girl Scout Troop 4383. I think people on this site are forgetting that the girls in this Troop are 9 and 10 years, who came up with this idea on their own. Not for the purpose of adding more laws to the book and not because they are unaware of more serious issues in this world but ONLY because they are tired of people smoking in the "kid areas" of the parks (ball fields, play grounds, etc. etc.). They are also tired of seeing the cigarette butts all over their playgrounds! Not to mention it's just a healthier lifestyle for children as well as all residents of Parsippany! Excellent job Troop 4383! Keep up the good work and good luck achieving your goals!

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