The Benefits to Tobacco-Free Parks

Over the last few years, the initiative for tobacco-free parks has grown in the United States.

Tobacco-free parks provide many benefits to reduce tobacco use in communities:

1. Tobacco-free parks encourage healthy living

• Healthy living creates a healthy environment where people are free from the harmful chemicals and cancer-causing agents of secondhand smoke

o Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 toxic chemicals

o Exposure to secondhand smoke, from any tobacco product, can have an immediate health effect on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems among infants, children and pregnant women

• Building a tobacco-free environment will help eliminate visual and social cues for those trying to quit smoking or those who have previously done so

2. Tobacco-free parks eliminate excessive litter

• Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the country with over 175 million pounds thrown out yearly

o Cigarette butts are poisonous to children and wildlife, are slow to decompose, and are costly to clean up

• If a child swallows a cigarette butt or other form of tobacco, they are at risk for nicotine poisoning

o Tobacco litter can also pose a burn risk if they are not properly extinguished, thus endangering people and wildlife 3. Tobacco-free parks can prevent children from using tobacco in the future

• Nearly 87% of tobacco users start before the age of 18

• Establishing a tobacco-free park policy will continue the norm that tobacco use is not an acceptable behavior for youth

For help quitting tobacco, visit or

You can also call the Michigan Tobacco Quitline at 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669), or contact Karen Ripke, DHD#10 Tobacco Treatment Specialist, at 231- 305-8659.

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Content contained on this site is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute professional medical advice.