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Regulating Secondhand Smoke in Public Parks and Outdoor Recreation Areas WHY? To protect public health, especially of children, from the negative health.

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Presentation on theme: "Regulating Secondhand Smoke in Public Parks and Outdoor Recreation Areas WHY? To protect public health, especially of children, from the negative health."— Presentation transcript:

1 Regulating Secondhand Smoke in Public Parks and Outdoor Recreation Areas WHY? To protect public health, especially of children, from the negative health consequences of exposure to secondhand smoke outdoors To protect the park environment from the risk of cigarette-caused fires and litter from cigarette butts and packaging To minimize health care costs associated with exposure to secondhand smoke Secondhand Smoke (SHS) is a Serious Threat to Public Health Contains over 4,000 chemicals, including toxins like formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic, ammonia, and hydrogen cyanide U.S. EPA lists SHS as a Group A human carcinogen Causes respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease, and premature death in nonsmokers Particularly harmful to children SHS is an Issue in Outdoor Public Spaces A recent study found that SHS exposure in outdoor areas such as parks, sidewalk cafés, and restaurant patios can rival amounts in indoor spaces. [Source: Neil E. Klepeis, Wayne R. Ott, and Paul Switzer, Real-Time Measurement of Outdoor Tobacco Smoke Particles, J OURNAL OF A IR & W ASTE M ANAGEMENT A SSOCIATION, 57: (May 2007)] Parks Should Promote Healthy Living and Behavior Children tend to perceive that smoking is acceptable when they view adults smoking in public Exposure to SHS negates the positive effects of engaging in healthy outdoor activities WHERE? Public parks and recreation properties Childrens school grounds, playgrounds, and tot-lots Beaches, ski areas Public gardens, zoos Sports fields, arenas, stadiums, golf courses Maryland Initiatives Most counties ban tobacco use on school grounds when children are present; some have ban in place 24/7 Five counties restrict tobacco use in outdoor parks, recreation areas, ball fields, and public common areas Maryland SoccerPlex and South G ermantown Recreational Park went smokefree in 2007 State and Local Initiatives Nationwide – Over 1,100 U.S. localities restrict smoking in one or more outdoor areas such as public beaches and stadiums [Source: Americans for Nonsmokers Rights] California – Statewide smokefree playgrounds law; local laws covering beaches, including Carmel, Laguna Beach, Coronado, Malibu; parks; outdoor sports venues and athletic fields New York – Young Lungs at Play tobacco-free parks and playgrounds initiative spearheaded by Rockland County Minnesota – Over 90 localities with tobacco-free public parks policies HOW? Coalition building -- stakeholders and community groups Park and recreation facility users, neighboring residents Advocates for children and youth Athletic and recreation organizations Environmental and health-related groups Draft a resolution, a policy, or an ordinance/statute Choose among: 1.Complete ban on tobacco use; 2.Ban on smoking only; or 3.Smoking in designated areas only Utilize web-based resources like TALC at Sample ordinances (for informational purposes only) Smoking Prohibited No person shall smoke any tobacco product anywhere in or on any City/County outdoor park or recreational area or facility. Smoking means using or possessing a lighted tobacco product or device such as a cigarette, cigar, or pipe. Tobacco Use Prohibited No person shall smoke or use a tobacco product anywhere in or on any City/County outdoor park or recreational area or facility Tobacco includes combustible tobacco products like cigarettes, cigars, and pipes, and smokeless tobacco products like snuff, snus, dip, and chew. Contact and work with decisionmakers and lawmakers Government advisory groups (e.g. Maryland Park Advisory Commission) Park rangers and administrators Local recreation and park directors City council members or state legislators ENJOY YOUR SMOKEFREE PARKS AND OUTDOOR RECREATION AREAS!!! Legal Resource Center for Tobacco Regulation, Litigation & Advocacy University of Maryland School of Law 500 W. Baltimore St., Baltimore, MD (phone) (fax)


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