Background In the United States, more than 600 municipalities have smoke-free parks, and more than 100 have smoke-free beaches. Nevertheless, adoption of outdoor smoke-free policies has been slow in certain regions. Critical to widespread adoption is the sharing of knowledge about the policy development and implementation process. In this article, we describe our experience in making City of Philadelphia recreation centers and playgrounds smoke-free. Community Context Of the 10 largest US cities, Philadelphia has among the highest rates of adult and youth smoking. Our objectives for an outdoor smoke-free policy included protecting against secondhand smoke, supporting a normative message that smoking is harmful, motivating smokers to quit, and mitigating tobacco-related sanitation costs. Methods The Philadelphia Department of Public Health and the Department of Parks and Recreation engaged civic leaders, agency staff, and community stakeholders in the following steps: l) making the policy case, 2) vetting policy options and engaging stakeholders, and 3) implementing policy. Near-term policy impacts were assessed through available data sources. Outcome More than 220 recreation centers, playgrounds, and outdoor pools became smoke-free through a combined mayoral executive order and agency regulation. Support for the policy was high. Estimates suggest a policy reach of 3.6 million annual visitors and almost 850 acres of new smoke-free municipal property. Interpretation Localities can successfully implement outdoor smoke-free policies with careful planning and execution. Such policies hold great potential for reducing exposure to secondhand smoke, promoting nonsmoking norms, and providing additional motivation for residents to quit smoking.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health