LIMA — The City of Lima is partnering with Activate Allen County and Allen County Creating Healthy Communities to combat second-hand smoke. The goal is to create healthier communities. Although indoor tobacco was made illegal in 2006, recent research shows that second-hand smoke can still have an impact.

In a health assessment conducted by the Lima/Allen County Public Health Program, 56% of youth reported being exposed to secondhand smoke and 15% reported using e-cigarettes in the past 30 days.

Lima Mayor Charetta Smith hopes to reduce the incidence of lung and bronchial cancer in the community.

“Research shows that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke,” Smith said. “Second-hand smoke levels in outdoor public spaces can be as high as in indoor smoking areas.”

Smith requested that parks and recreation facilities owned by the city of Lima establish a smoke- and vape-free environment.

“A tobacco-free parks policy protects the environment by reducing litter, pollution, waste from tobacco products and potentially preventing wildfires,” said Josh Unterbrink, co-director of Activate Allen County. “Tobacco waste contains the same toxins as tobacco products.”

At Monday night’s meeting, the City Council voted to put the ordinance on second reading for further discussion.

Council members did pass a resolution to honor the memory of the late Billy Harnischfeger. A World War II Navy veteran, he retired from Norfolk and Western Railway. In the 1970s and 1980s, Harnishfeger was the 5th Ward Councilor in Lima.

Peggy Echora, 4th Ward Councilwoman, shared her condolences to Harnishfeger’s family.

“He served 12 years on the council,” Egora said, “not a feat for the faint of heart. He had some excitement during his time on the council, which is that it’s all about someone who has a heart for the city. I hope we all serve our time as well as your father.’

Toward the end of the meeting, 2nd Ward Councilman Tony Wilkerson encouraged community members.

“I would caution those of us who know how to drive to be careful around small children in the morning,” Wilkerson said. “I also encourage parents to put something reflective on their book bags so they can be seen. I also want to share Proverbs 3:27, “Do not withhold good from someone who deserves it, if it is in your power.”