Philadelphia bans smoking at playgrounds and recreation centers

Beginning July 1st, smoking will be banned at Philadelphia playgrounds and recreation facilities.

The executive order signed by Mayor Michael Nutter prohibits smoking at city recreation centers. The mayor says among the goals it is to prevent children from lighting up.

“Youth who smoke are much more likely to smoke as adults and therefore run the risk of getting smoking related diseases and of course dying,” said Nutter.  Nutter is not emphasizing this as a way to cut second-hand smoke.

Deputy Mayor Mike Diberardinis says kicking smokes out of rec centers helps the city’s goal of raising healthier kids.  “If we’re allowing smoking anywhere on our grounds, we’re going against that pledge,” he said.

Health Commissioner Dr. Donald Schwarz says they’re leaving enforcement up to the public.

“We found that in other places in the world we found it’s been effective to have peers begin to say, ‘See that sign it says don’t smoke why are you smoking?'”

The executive order does not include fines for non-compliance. Mayor Nutter says he doesn’t feel he needs to put a bill through city council that would impose penalties.

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