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Nutter signs order: No smoking in city parks

Put it out. Now residents aren't allowed to light up on more than 100 neighborhood and watershed parks.

On Tuesday Mayor Michael Nutter signed an executive order which bans smoking in all city parks. Credit: Charles Mostoller. On Tuesday Mayor Michael Nutter signed an executive order which bans smoking in all city parks. Credit: Charles Mostoller.

There are fewer and fewer spots for smokers in Philadelpha to "Take it outside."

On Tuesday Mayor Michael Nutter signed an executive order which bans smoking in all city parks. The order is essentially an extension of the Clean Indoor Air Worker Protection Law, passed in 2007, which banned smoking in city restaurants, bars, workplaces and most indoor establishments. In 2011, the law was extended to both indoor and outdoor recreation centers, playgrounds and swimming pools.

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And in the beginning of the month Nutter signed a City Council-passed bill which added e-cigarettes to the ban. The use of a device would lead to a $250 fine. That ban takes effect July 1.

The newest ban was immediately put into effect, but no fines will be issued for non-compliance.

Nutter said he doesn't need to punish violators to get his point across.

"This is part of our overall commitment to promote a healthy lifestyle for all Philadelphians by creating safe, accessible, smoke-free spaces," Nutter said. "You don't have to tell people today not to smoke in a hospital or in a supermarket. Folks just kind of get it over time."

Nutter said the order accomplishes three things: protects the environment from littered cigarette butts, which can be harmful to animals and local water sources; help smokers quit; and protect against second-hand smoke.

Temple University professor Curtis Miyamoto, chairperson at the Department of Radiation Oncology at Temple's School of Medicine, and who treats cancer patients daily, said Tuesday that in today's world a high majority are aware of the dangers of smoking.

"So to take one of the cleanest actives we can possibly do in our society, and that's to go out in the park and exercise and run around, and to smoke in that and allow that is a contradiction."

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Tiana Imai, Tiana Imai. Credit: Charles Mostoller

Tiana Imai, a 23-year-old flight attendant originally from Hawaii but who now lives in Texas, toured the city Tuesday while waiting for her next journey. She said smoking is banned in many businesses in her native state, and she agrees with the parks ban.

"In a public area where there is families and people who don't smoke it's kind of taking away from their right, too."

Trong Tan Trong Tan. Credit: Charles Mostoller

Trong Tan, 24, said he's trying to quit, but in regards to the order, "It's all about consideration. If there is children and old people and a lot of people around me I wouldn't smoke around them. I would go somewhere else. It should be based on personal responsibility."

Emily Meissner Emily Meissner. Credit: Charles Mostoller

Emily Meissner, 20, a student at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and local restaurant worker, said "You're outside. It's open air. You're in the city where there is pollution everywhere anyway so why are we worrying about second-hand smoke?"

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