Those in the habit of smoking while visiting Powhatan parks and recreational facilities will soon need to find another place to light up.

During the monthly meeting of the Powhatan County Board of Supervisors on July 29, members gave the go-ahead to spend $2,300 out of the county’s operating budget for the purchase of 38 “No Smoking” signs to be placed throughout the county’s parks.

According to Ramona Carter, Powhatan’s Director of Public Works, the move comes after staff researched the polices of a number of other localities, including neighboring Chesterfield County, to see how they handle the issue.

Noting that Chesterfield had dispensed with park smoking areas altogether and instituted a voluntary no smoking policy, Powhatan staff decided this was the approach they wanted to take as well.

District 2 supervisor Larry Nordvig said he thought the step was a necessary one, given the generally accepted fact that secondhand smoke can prove harmful to those exposed to it. A former youth sports coach, he added that he had witnessed children playing in and around the area of Fighting Creek Park formerly designated as a smoking section.

“I like freedom, as long as it doesn’t harm others,” Nordvig said. “And in this case we should keep kids away from cigarette smoke.”

Nordvig said he understood disobeying the signs will not carry any kind of criminal or civil penalty, but added “I think in Powhatan most people will be respectful and not light up.”

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