An anti-smoking group in Vermont is urging Montpelier leaders to make the city's downtown area smoke-free

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — An anti-smoking group in Vermont is urging Montpelier leaders to make the city’s downtown area smoke-free.

WCAX-TV reports the Central Vermont New Directions Coalition created will present a petition to the Montpelier City Council later this month. The group is pushing for a smoke-free zone that’s about half a mile long.

Coalition member Ann Gilbert says the organization is trying to protect families and elderly residents who visit the downtown area. Gilbert says a smoking ban is a big part of creating a health community.

The group has collected about 1,500 signatures so far. Most of the signees commute to the city.

Montpelier would join cities like Burlington if it passed a smoking ban. Burlington has a smoking ban at the Church Street Marketplace.

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Information from: WCAX-TV, http://www.wcax.com