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Nutter Smoking Ban Win for Philly Parks

Nutter Smoking Ban Win for Philly Parks

no smoking city parksMayor Michael Nutter signed an executive order yesterday to ban smoking in Philly’s parks.

According to the City of Philadelphia’s official wordpress account (speaking of which, can’t City of Phila afford a URL that doesn’t include .wordpress?),

Under this order, smoking is prohibited in more than 100 Philadelphia neighborhood parks and watershed parks, totaling more than 11,000 acres of public space.  This policy goes into effect immediately. “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.  

Although this may be one small step for the city parks, it’s a giant leap for sustainability in our city. The policy will be enforced by Philadelphia Park staff and public awareness campaigns, so we’ll have to wait and see if they can measure less butts in the park.

As we mentioned in our Philadelphia litter blog post, cigarette butts contribute to litter in our streets and parks. A non biodegradable substance, an estimated 1.69 billion pounds of butts end up as toxic trash, harming ground and water ecosystems. On top of the environmental angle, we don’t have to go into the additional dangers of smoking and overall city health in 2014, we hope.

Although Mayor Nutter’s Greenworks Plan has initiated many positive programs like TreePhilly and additional farmers markets, Philadelphia lacks game-changing environmental legislation. Without regulating plastic bags, styrofoam and other destructive products, Philadelphia continues to lag behind other cities like San Francisco, Seattle and New York.

Smaller steps like banning smoking in parks will hopefully spark other changes, continuing to bring awareness to our city’s trash and environmental concerns. Does this mean Philadelphians would need to try those handheld vaporizers now?

Readers, what do you think of the ban? How effective will it be?


Photo: Testing blog

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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher

5 thoughts on “Nutter Smoking Ban Win for Philly Parks

  1. Dogs and Soldiers keep off grass!
    Yep that sure is gonna work a smoking ban……………They tried it before about 80 years ago and repealed it for both outdoors and indoors after everyone said screw it and lit up!

  2. Heres a time line starting in 1900,dont be surprised to see the same thing playing out today nearly 100 years later.

    1901: REGULATION: Strong anti-cigarette activity in 43 of the 45 states. “Only Wyoming and Louisiana had paid no attention to the cigarette controversy, while the other forty-three states either already had anti-cigarette laws on the books or were considering new or tougher anti-cigarette laws, or were the scenes of heavy anti- cigarette activity” (Dillow, 1981:10).

    1904: New York: A judge sends a woman is sent to jail for 30 days for smoking in front of her children.

    1904: New York City. A woman is arrested for smoking a cigarette in an automobile. “You can’t do that on Fifth Avenue,” the arresting officer says.

    1907: Business owners are refusing to hire smokers. On August 8, the New York Times writes: “Business … is doing what all the anti-cigarette specialists could not do.”

    1917: SMOKEFREE: Tobacco control laws have fallen, including smoking bans in numerous cities, and the states of Arkansas, Iowa, Idaho and Tennessee.

    1937: hitler institutes laws against smoking.This one you can google.

  3. Did anyone mention the JUNK SCIENCE about second hand smoke used to justify these INSANE SMOKING BANS to start with!
    This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:

    Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

    By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

    Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

    What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

    “I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study………………………

    Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

    The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

    Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.


    A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

    Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

  4. Truly Nutter is a NUT!

    As we mentioned in our Philadelphia litter blog post, cigarette butts contribute to litter in our streets and parks. A non biodegradable substance, an estimated 1.69 billion pounds of butts end up as toxic trash, harming ground and water ecosystems.


    Another Anti-Smoking Hoax Debunked. Those cigarette filters are 100% biodegradable.

    The cigarette butt menace was created to support outdoor smoking bans because many non-smokers will accept that secondhand smoke is not harmful in an outdoor setting.

    The anti-smoking zealots admit that the tobacco and paper in cigarette butts are biodegradable, but claim that the cellulose acetate cigarette filters are a plastic, like styrofoam and polystyrene, and will contaminate the earth forever. This is not true. Cellulose acetate is a wood product. It is completely degradable through biological, chemical, and photo chemical degradation mechanisms.

    Sorry, I don’t have a nice, easy to read MSM news article to give you. I have research papers from cellulose acetate manufacturers. Ann W., a commentor to a Dick Puddlecote article, put me onto this. … found.html … ilters.pdf
    “STUDY OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION OF CIGARETTE FILTERS: A simulation of the Roadside or Parking Lot Environment.” Stephen K. Haynes, et al,., Research Laboratories, Eastman Chemical Company, Kingsport Tenn.

    “In recent years there has been increasing public awareness of items which may be discarded as litter with particular attention being given to cigarette filters. Some studies have concluded that when cigarette filters are introduced into the environment, they either do not degrade or degrade very slowly. Previous work in our laboratories has demonstrated that cigarette filters biodegrade readily in environments where mixed microbial populations can thrive. The purpose of this study was to examine the changes occurring in cigarette filters over time in an environment similar to that of a parking lot or roadside area. In this environment, exposure to sunlight, moisture and wind occur, but there is limited exposure to microbial attack … ”

    “CONCLUSIONS: Previous work has demonstrated that cigarette filters biodegrade readily in environments where mixed microbial populations can thrive. This work demonstrates that current commercial cigarette filters also degrade when exposed to an environment which is not optimal for microbial biodegradation.”

  5. toxic trash, harming ground and water ecosystems.

    Toxic truly you folks are NUTTERS!

    Take a ride down to Virginia and see whats been used for fertilizer for 6 centuries!

    Tobacco Stalks after stripping the leaves for market! Then their dumped onto the fields to bio-degrade into the soil!

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