Tobacco Free Parks & Trails

HistoryTFW Parks Website JPG

TFW has a strong working relationship with the City of Wichita. In recent years, this has included the adoption of a smoke-free athletic fields policy. TFW also advocated for smoke-free Kids’ Zone and food courts policy at our annual Wichita Riverfest.

Why Tobacco Free Parks & Trails? 

  • Tobacco free parks and trails ordinances protect children and families from secondhand smoke.
  • Tobacco free parks and trails ordinances protect small children and pets from harm.
    • If ingested, tobacco litter can cause hoking, nicotine poisoning, & burns
  • Prohibiting tobacco use in public change social norms and model healthy behaviors for youth.
    • Teens hang out in parks to use tobacco; the most popular products among youth are e-cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco
  • Tobacco litter ads to the overall cost of cleaning up our parks.
    • Cigarette litter takes 10-15 years to break down
  • The community supports tobacco free parks and trails.
    • TFW has spent the past two years talking to the community about tobacco free parks & trails with overwhelming support
    • Only 80% of Wichitans use tobacco

MYC - RESIST - Park Board Presentation 03-11-19_Page_06

How Will This Ordinance Benefit Wichita?

  • Provides a healthy space for children, pets, and families to get outside and enjoy our city
  • Gives visitors a healthier image of Wichita
  • More people will attend parks and events
  • Reduces the risk of youth tobacco use

Wichita Parks Environmental Scans

TFW RESIST members, Mayor’s Youth Council, and adult volunteers collected over 1,348 cigarette pieces of litter seven area parks and trails. The purpose is to demonstrate the amount of litter near children playing & the dangers tobacco poses to families.

Our Process: TFW defines tobacco litter as any item associated with the use of tobacco (cigarette butts, containers, wrappers, lighters, etc.)

  • Tobacco litter was located within a 20-foot perimeter of a park playground in each of the six Wichita City Council districts and Sedgwick County Park in the fall of 2018.
  • Volunteers used nitrile gloves and ziplock bags for skin protection.
  • An orange flag was placed to mark the location of each piece of collected tobacco litter.
  • At the close of the scan, all flags were collected & litter was properly disposed.
  • The time spent cleaning each park was approximately 1 hour.

Below are the a sample of the results from our city parks and trails environmental scans: (each orange flag represents one piece of tobacco litter)

For more information on Tobacco Free Parks initiatives, click HERE.

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