Keep Our Outdoor Spaces Clean & Tobacco-Free
Colorado is a beautiful state with an abundance of trails, parks and playgrounds for all to enjoy. Keeping our open spaces clean and tobacco-free is safer for people, animals, and the environment, and also promotes healthier behaviors.
Top 10 Reasons Why Open Spaces Should be Tobacco-Free
1. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Drifting tobacco smoke, even outdoors, can trigger asthmatic attacks, cause cardiovascular health issues, bronchial infections, and other serious health problems.
2. When children see adults using tobacco in family-friendly places such as parks and playgrounds, they see the behavior as acceptable and are more likely to mimic the behavior.
3. A critical part in addressing youth smoking is to create an environment where tobacco use is not considered acceptable.
4. It is common sense to protect children from secondhand where they play and socialize.
5. Discarded cigarette butts are hazardous to children, animals, and the environment. Children who ingest discarded cigarette butts are at risk for toxic poisoning, choking, or burning themselves.
6. Cigarettes are a major fire hazard, threatening outdoor parks, forestland, and recreation areas, as well as wooden structures in parks and playgrounds. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2011 over 90,000 fires were started by smoking materials in the U.S.
7. Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter and they don’t decompose. Tobacco litter represents nearly 32% of all litter in outdoor recreation areas. (“Litter in America," 2009 KAB Research).
8. Cigarette butt cleanup is costly to taxpayers. A study published in the April 2011 issue of Tobacco Control estimated the cost of cigarette butt clean-up between $3-$16 million for major cities and municipalities.
9. Tobacco use negatively affects the health of individuals and families engaging in healthy activities in parks and trails.
10. Tobacco-free policies help people quit tobacco use.
Many communities in Colorado and the U.S. have passed local laws prohibiting smoking in parks, playgrounds, and other outdoor recreation sites. Find out if your community is included here.