- Associated Press - Friday, March 7, 2014

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) - A group of Hutchinson students is working to limit smoking at the Kansas state fairgrounds.

About 25 members of Communities that Care, a Reno County youth organization that works on topics involving drug and alcohol prevention, asked the Kansas State Fair board Thursday to consider their proposal to make the grounds smoke-free except for a few designated smoking areas, The Hutchinson News reported (https://bit.ly/1jZQaYj ).

Smoking isn’t allowed in buildings or the grandstand. The students would like to see the fair limit smoking to four or five areas, perhaps near the gates or along outlying areas of the grounds.

The students from Hutchinson High School and Middle School brought with them a clear case filled with cigarette butts that 15 students collected during the fair.

“We picked up 2,650 cigarettes in one hour,” Hutchinson High School junior Maddie Page told the board. Littering is one reason the group stressed that the fair should adopt their idea. They also said adult smokers set a bad example for youth. But the main reason such a policy should be implemented is to reduce secondhand smoke, they said.

“Some people won’t come to the fair because of the secondhand smoke,” Page said.

Fair Manager Denny Stoecklein said more studies would be needed to determine how other fairs implemented such plans, and the board would not make any decisions without getting more feedback from patrons.

“It’s good food for thought,” Stoecklein said.


Information from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News, https://www.hutchnews.com

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