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Smoke-free Outdoor Spaces

Did you know that August is Family Fun Month? This is the time, right before school starts again, to make the most of your remaining summer days. There are many things families can do to celebrate Family Fun Month. The best way to celebrate is to visit Ohio’s Smoke-Free Outdoor Spaces!

Why are tobacco-free outdoor spaces important?

  • They protect the community, nonsmokers, children and others, from the dangers of secondhand smoke. The U.S. Surgeon General has concluded that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.1 Even a small amount of secondhand smoke can expose nonsmokers to more than 7,000 toxic chemicals and compounds2 and can cause eye irritation, nausea, headaches and respiratory irritation that can lead to asthma attacks.3

  • Smoke-Free Outdoor Spaces reduce tobacco use. Smoke-free outdoor spaces provide a supportive environment for people who wish to stop smoking. Studies have found that adopting clean air policies encourages smokers to cut back or quit smoking.3

  • It provides positive role-modeling to teens. When adults and other young adults do not smoke, the message is tobacco use is not the norm and that being tobacco free is important. Prohibiting tobacco use in outdoor places frequented by the public reduces the perception that tobacco use is a common, acceptable, and desirable adult behavior.4

  • Preventing tobacco products in outdoor spaces reduces litter. Cigarette butts are the most littered item in world. In Ohio, cigarette butts account for 422 tons of litter annually.4 Non-biodegradable cigarette butts thrown on the ground are washed away into Ohio’s streams, creeks, lakes and rivers where they leach toxins into the environment where they can poison aquatic life, birds and small mammals, as well as other toddlers and children who find them at parks and touch or pick them up out of curiosity.5

Now that you know the importance of Ohio’s Smoke-Free Outdoor Spaces, take your family out to enjoy the clean and safe environment this type of policy provides for all Ohioans. Some examples of outdoor spaces that have adopted Smoke-Free policies include parks, playgrounds, local swimming pools, sports fields and walking trails or sidewalks!

Go to our survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SFoutdoorspace  to enter to win a $15 gift certificate to your local zoo by sharing your favorite outdoor spaces with us! Also, check out our map of Smoke-Free spaces in Ohio and place a sticker on all the cool places you’ve been. The map will be in the basement during the month of August. Get out and enjoy Ohio’s Smoke-Free Outdoor Spaces!

References:

  1. How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease: A Report of the Surgeon General. 2010, www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/tobaccosmoke/report/full_report.pdf.

  2. Preventing Tobacco Use among Youth and Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General, 2012  http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/preventing-youth-tobacco-use/

  3. TobaccoSmoke.org, Is there really a health basis for outdoor smoking bans? http://tobaccosmoke.exposurescience.org/outdoor-tobacco-smoke-study/is-there-really-a-health-basis-for-smoking-bans

  4. Dr. Ron Davis Smokefree Air Law: One Year Later http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdch/6.23.11_Dr.RonDavisSFA_Law_1_year_360094_7.pdf

  5. Ohio Statewide Litter Study 2004 Cigarette Butt Waste. (2004). Retrieved from http://no-smoke.org    

 

Last Updated: 8/1/2017