Healthy Acadia Partners with Municipalities to go Tobacco Free

The Calais City Council accepted the municipality’s new signs from Georgie Kendall of Healthy Acadia at the most recent council meeting. (Submitted photo)

By Kaileigh Deacon

Across the country, tobacco deaths are still the number one leader. In Maine it is estimated that about twenty percent of residents smoke, so Healthy Acadia is working to help create environments where tobacco-free living is commonplace. 

In the last year, Healthy Acadia has worked with both the municipalities of Lubec and Calais to update their tobacco policies and make municipality owned and operated areas tobacco-free. Many towns which have policies don’t include the range of tobacco products that are available to teens and adults today. Things like snuff, cigars, e-cigarettes and other Electronic Nicotine Devices (ENDS) aren’t covered in most policies. 

“We encourage every municipality to adopt a [tobacco] policy if they don’t already have one and if they do have one, to update their policy for ENDS,” said Georgie Kendall. 

Calais’ updated policy will expand the tobacco-free stipulations to these products and others not listed. By partnering with Healthy Acadia, Calais was able to update their policy to cover more of the things that are being used today ending with a more comprehensive policy. By partnering with Healthy Acadia, Calais was also able to get access to resources and education about tobacco use and its effects. The city also received several signs to place around town indicating which areas are tobacco-free. 

The council approved the updating of the policy back in October. At the last council meeting on January 10, the council received the signs from Healthy Acadia. The signs will go up this spring around town, at the Dicenzo Complex on Calais Avenue and the Triangle Park on Main Street. The schools in Calais won’t be receiving any of these signs as there are separate signs declaring school grounds tobacco-free which schools and child care providers can obtain working with Healthy Acadia. 

Healthy Acadia will be holding an event at Calais Regional Hospital on March 5 from 5:30-7: 30 p.m. The event will be an informational session on vaping. The discussion will focus on what vaping is, the danger of vaping and other resources. The session will also include appetizers that will be free. There is no fee to attend this session and all are welcome to attend. 

Healthy Acadia’s mission goes beyond tobacco education and awareness. “We empower people and organizations to build healthy communities. Our vision is for our counties to have diverse, vibrant communities where healthful resources are available to all and people work together for the common good. Healthy Acadia works on a broad range of community health initiatives that help the citizens of our counties to thrive,” said Georgie Kendall of Healthy Acadia. 

Other initiatives that Healthy Acadia helps with are Lets Go 5210, nutrition and education, support groups, diabetes education classes, yoga classes, Downeast Teen Leadership Camp, and other programs. Healthy Acadia works to help people create lifestyle changes that will help themselves and their communities become healthier. They offer the resources to make the changes toward a healthier way of life. 

 

For more information, you can contact Georgie Kendall at 207-255-3741 or at georgie@healthyacadia.org.