Tobacco Free Parks
Tobacco Free For Me!
Parks should be a safe and healthy space for individuals, families, children and pets to gather, and for everyone to work toward their wellness goals. Tobacco is the number one source of preventable death and disease in our country, and does not contribute to this vision.
Why tobacco-free parks?
- Reduce exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Change the cultural norm for younger generations.
- Eliminate unsightly litter from tobacco butts and chew.
No Ifs, Ands or Butts
Cigarette litter is not only unsightly but dangerous, especially to young children and animals that can ingest them, leading to tobacco poisoning. This litter can also disrupt the natural balance of our park ecosystems by washing into local waterways.
A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on small children who had ingested cigarette butts concluded that one-third of them exhibited symptoms of illness such as spontaneous vomiting, nausea, lethargy and gagging. Cigarette butts leach toxins into the water and kill or injure various forms of wildlife. In addition, the plastic parts of cigarette butts can be ingested by fish, birds, whales and other marine animals.
How You Can Help
- Contact your local City Councilperson and express your interest in a Tobacco-Free Parks Policy.
- Create a photo journal of tobacco litter at your favorite parks and recreation spots, and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org listing the date and location, as well as your first/last name and zip code, to help your City Councilperson understand the importance of a clean, neat, healthy and safe tobacco-free park!
- Send a “Letter to the Editor” asking for support of tobacco-free parks.
- Participate in a MOTAC-sponsored park clean-up, or organize your own with friends and family, faith group, organization or workplace.
- Ask friends, family and others not to use tobacco products around you, your family, or your home.
- Share posts from our MOTAC social media to help keep everyone informed of the latest tobacco news, studies, education, etc.