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Smokefree Parks and Recreation Areas: Improving Maryland’s Public Health Center for Tobacco Regulation, Litigation & Advocacy University of Maryland School.

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Presentation on theme: "Smokefree Parks and Recreation Areas: Improving Maryland’s Public Health Center for Tobacco Regulation, Litigation & Advocacy University of Maryland School."— Presentation transcript:

1 Smokefree Parks and Recreation Areas: Improving Maryland’s Public Health Center for Tobacco Regulation, Litigation & Advocacy University of Maryland School of Law 500 West Baltimore Street Baltimore, Maryland (410) phone; (410) fax

2 Presentation Outline Adverse public health and environmental impacts of tobacco use in public parks and recreation areas Adverse public health and environmental impacts of tobacco use in public parks and recreation areas Secondhand smoke as a known human carcinogen/toxin Secondhand smoke as a known human carcinogen/toxin Additional health risks to children Additional health risks to children Cigarette litter as a pollutant and threat to wildlife Cigarette litter as a pollutant and threat to wildlife Tobacco use as a cause of unnecessary fires Tobacco use as a cause of unnecessary fires Smokefree parks around the U.S. Smokefree parks around the U.S. State of Maryland State of Maryland Impact on the State Impact on the State Current smokefree initiatives Current smokefree initiatives Benefits of smokefree parks and recreation areas Benefits of smokefree parks and recreation areas

3 Secondhand Smoke Also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) Also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) Contains over 4,000 chemicals, including toxins like formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic, ammonia, and hydrogen cyanide Contains over 4,000 chemicals, including toxins like formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic, ammonia, and hydrogen cyanide Listed by the U.S. EPA as a Group A human carcinogen Listed by the U.S. EPA as a Group A human carcinogen Known cause of respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease, and premature death in nonsmokers Known cause of respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease, and premature death in nonsmokers

4 According to the U.S. Surgeon General, “There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke” for adults or children (June 2006) According to the U.S. Surgeon General, “There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke” for adults or children (June 2006) Annual cost of medical care, mortality, and morbidity from ETS exposure in the U.S. is around $10 billion Annual cost of medical care, mortality, and morbidity from ETS exposure in the U.S. is around $10 billion ETS is particularly harmful to infants and young children, causing increased incidence of: ETS is particularly harmful to infants and young children, causing increased incidence of: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Chronic ear infections Chronic ear infections Bronchitis, pneumonia, and severe asthma attacks Bronchitis, pneumonia, and severe asthma attacks Secondhand Smoke (ETS) is a Public Health Threat

5 Tobacco Use in Outdoor Public Spaces Poses Additional Health Risks for Children Ingesting discarded cigarette butts can lead to: Ingesting discarded cigarette butts can lead to: choking choking burns burns nicotine poisoning nicotine poisoning vomiting vomiting irregular heartbeat irregular heartbeat seizures seizures Contributes to children’s perceptions that smoking is acceptable behavior Contributes to children’s perceptions that smoking is acceptable behavior

6 Cigarette Litter Pollutes Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter Cigarette filters break down slowly and never fully biodegrade Cigarette filters break down slowly and never fully biodegrade Nearly 80% of cigarette butts wind up in human water systems Nearly 80% of cigarette butts wind up in human water systems State and local governments spend money to remove cigarette butt litter State and local governments spend money to remove cigarette butt litter Tourists tend to avoid litter-filled areas, resulting in lost revenue Tourists tend to avoid litter-filled areas, resulting in lost revenue

7 Animals mistake cigarette butts for food Animals mistake cigarette butts for food Ingesting butts, packaging, and cartons causes starvation, strangulation, nicotine poisoning, and death Ingesting butts, packaging, and cartons causes starvation, strangulation, nicotine poisoning, and death Chemicals released from cigarette butts into water are lethal to critically important plankton-like animals Chemicals released from cigarette butts into water are lethal to critically important plankton-like animals Tobacco Use in Parks Injures Wildlife

8 Yellowstone National Park (1988) Yellowstone National Park (1988) More than 630 square miles burned More than 630 square miles burned Caused by discarded cigarette Caused by discarded cigarette National Parks superintendents may designate portions of parklands as “closed to smoking when necessary to protect park resources, reduce the risk of fire, or prevent conflicts among visitor use activities.” National Parks superintendents may designate portions of parklands as “closed to smoking when necessary to protect park resources, reduce the risk of fire, or prevent conflicts among visitor use activities.” Tobacco Use in Parks Tobacco Use in Parks Causes Unnecessary Fires

9 Smokefree Areas around the U.S. Most states and the federal government have passed laws prohibiting smoking indoors Most states and the federal government have passed laws prohibiting smoking indoors Numerous municipalities and states are prohibiting smoking in outdoor spaces Numerous municipalities and states are prohibiting smoking in outdoor spaces Outdoor ordinances include bans on smoking at public sports and recreation venues, playgrounds, parks, beaches, and public gardens Outdoor ordinances include bans on smoking at public sports and recreation venues, playgrounds, parks, beaches, and public gardens

10 State of the State: Impact of Tobacco Use on Maryland $597 million in heath care costs due to ETS exposure; $73.8 million of which went to children’s health care (2005) $597 million in heath care costs due to ETS exposure; $73.8 million of which went to children’s health care (2005) Smoking-related litter = 8 % of debris recovered in 2005 International Coastal Cleanup; cigarette butts alone = 7% of total Smoking-related litter = 8 % of debris recovered in 2005 International Coastal Cleanup; cigarette butts alone = 7% of total Cigarette-caused fires in 57 public park/recreation areas = 61.9 acres of burned forest land (2006); accounted for 6 to 8 % of all wildfires ( ) Cigarette-caused fires in 57 public park/recreation areas = 61.9 acres of burned forest land (2006); accounted for 6 to 8 % of all wildfires ( )

11 Maryland State and Local Initiatives Most counties ban tobacco use on school grounds Most counties ban tobacco use on school grounds Five counties restrict tobacco use in outdoor parks, recreation areas, ball fields, and public common areas Five counties restrict tobacco use in outdoor parks, recreation areas, ball fields, and public common areas Clean Indoor Air Act of 2007—smoking in public indoor areas prohibited as of February 1, 2008 Clean Indoor Air Act of 2007—smoking in public indoor areas prohibited as of February 1, 2008

12 Making Maryland Public Parks and Recreation Areas Smokefree Would: Reduce public exposure to ETS and its negative health effects Reduce public exposure to ETS and its negative health effects Prevent children from viewing smoking as normative behavior Prevent children from viewing smoking as normative behavior Lower the number of cigarette butts discarded Lower the number of cigarette butts discarded Reduce costs associated with cleanup Reduce costs associated with cleanup Reinforce the Maryland Park Service’s “trash-free parks” program Reinforce the Maryland Park Service’s “trash-free parks” program Reduce the risk of smoking-related fires Reduce the risk of smoking-related fires Protect wildlife Protect wildlife

13 Thank You Any Questions?


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