Michael Nutter, mayor of Philadelphia, signed an executive order on Tuesday that immediately bans smoking in public parks via an extension of the city’s Clean Indoor Air Worker Protection Act. The order affects Philadelphia neighborhood parks and watershed parks, totaling more than 11,000 acres of public space.
“Eliminating smoking in public parks is a commonsense policy that clearly aligns with our City’s existing smoke-free regulations for recreation centers, pools and playgrounds. Specifically, this policy protects the environment and the health and wellness of our citizens,” said Mayor Nutter.
The policy will be enforced by parks’ staff, though the order carries no fines or penalties for those in violation of it. The Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Public Health will support enforcement efforts through community education with a public awareness campaign, which includes the “no butts about it” media campaign.
Michael DiBerardinis, Deputy Mayor for Environmental and Community Resources, said that “Philadelphia’s parks, recreation and green spaces benefit our lives in many ways, such as improved water quality, connected communities and cleaner air,” adding that “this initiative will help to increase those public benefits and invite more people to these important spaces. This collaborative effort is an important step to helping us maintain a unified parks and recreation system which is safe, clean and ready to use for all Philadelphians.”
As of the 2010 census, Philadelphia ranked as the fifth-largest city in the United States, with a population of 1,526,006 people.