May 31, 2013
Contact: Lulu Todorov (215.825.8202 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

LANCASTER – On May 31, "World No Tobacco Day," at Lititz Springs Park, Lititz, Pennsylvania, Southeastern Pennsylvania Tobacco Control Project and Pennsylvania Department of Health recognized Lancaster County, Delaware County and Chester County for outstanding leadership in assisting its municipalities and youth organizations to create tobacco free parks, playgrounds and recreation areas. All three counties were given an award for their outstanding accomplishments in the Young Lungs at Play (YLAP) Community Challenge, posed by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Tobacco Free Coalition.

YLAP is an initiative that promotes the establishment of tobacco-free parks and playgrounds by educating municipal officials on the risks and dangers of secondhand smoke and tobacco litter. Eligible communities receive signs to display in tobacco-free zones at parks, playgrounds and sports fields.

Lancaster, Chester and Delaware Counties all earned a "Platinum" level Community Challenge award for encouraging and assisting their municipalities to join YLAP and create tobacco-free parks, playgrounds and recreational areas to protect children from secondhand smoke and cigarette butt litter.

Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County and Schuylkill County were also honored for their efforts to promote safe, smoke-free places for kids to play.

"Congratulations to the Southeast region and all participating YLAP communities for taking the steps to protect everyone's right to breathe clean air," said Martin Raniowski, the Deputy Secretary for Health, Planning and Assessment for the Pennsylvania Department of Health. "Through initiatives like Young Lungs at Play, we are working towards a common goal of improving the health of all Pennsylvanians."

"Young Lungs at Play protects the health of children by creating safe, healthy and clean places for them to play," added Angela Trout from YWCA of Lancaster County. "The more municipalities who adopt the program, the more young people will be protected from secondhand smoke."

The Surgeon General reports that secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard with no safe level of exposure. "Children are at particular risk for asthma, respiratory infections and cardiovascular disease when exposed to tobacco smoke," said Sue Lackman of Lancaster General Health.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies tobacco smoke as a Class-A carcinogen. Exposure to secondhand smoke is estimated to cause at least 38,000 deaths each year in the United States and more than one million illnesses in children.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Tobacco Free Coalition encourages smokers to become tobacco free and recommends tobacco prevention and cessation services to help individuals quit smoking. Resources include the Pennsylvania Free Quitline, at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

For more information about the Young Lungs at Play initiative in Southeastern PA, contact Katee Yorke at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 484.444.0418. The initiative is supported by the Health Promotion Council (HPC) and funded through a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.


About HPC
Health Promotion Council of Southeastern Pennsylvania (HPC) is a non-profit corporation organized in 1981. HPC's mission is to promote health and prevent disease, especially among those at greatest risk, through education, outreach and advocacy. Its unique programs advocating positive health behaviors, together with its innovative work with minority groups have advanced the field of health promotion in Southeastern Pennsylvania and across the nation. For more information, visit

About PHMC
Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) is a nonprofit public health institute that creates and sustains healthier communities. PHMC uses best practices to improve community health through direct service, partnership, innovation, policy, research, technical assistance and a prepared workforce. PHMC has served the region since 1972. For more information on PHMC, visit