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“No Smoking” in City Parks

Post Date:03/15/2019 2:30 PM
Westerville City Council has adopted an ordinance designating Westerville parks as “no smoking” zones. The legislation prohibits smoking and the use of electronic cigarettes in community parks. City Council hopes that the legislation will help reduce and eliminate secondhand smoke and the resulting negative smoking effects including litter and strong odors. At sites most commonly frequented by children, the ban will also help protect young lungs at play.
Electronic cigarettes are included and specifically prohibited in the ban. Use of e-cigarettes, or “vaping,” has become popular as either an alternative or in addition to regular cigarette or tobacco use. However, vaping is not without harm to bystanders.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says e-cigarette aerosol that users inhale from the device and exhale can contain harmful and potentially dangerous substances, including nicotine; ultrafine particles; flavoring such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease; volatile organic compounds; cancer-causing chemicals; and heavy metals such as nickel, tin and lead.
The ban is inclusive of all 43 Westerville parks and more than 40 miles of recreational trails along the Westerville Bike & Walkway system. Westerville joins several other Central Ohio communities banning the use of tobacco and smoking in parks. Columbus, Dublin, Powell and Grove City all have same or similar prohibitions in parks on the books.
In partnership with Franklin County Public Health, the Westerville Parks & Recreation Department has placed “No Smoking” signs in all City-owned parks and green spaces. Additionally, Parks and Recreation will promote smoking cessation programs.
According to the CDC, secondhand smoke exposure contributes to approximately 41,000 deaths among nonsmoking adults and 400 deaths in infants each year. Secondhand smoke causes strokes, lung cancer and coronary heart disease in adults.

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