Smoke-Free Rec Centers and Playgrounds

On May 23, 2011, Mayor Michael Nutter announced a new rule that made recreation centers in Philadelphia 100% smoke-free. This rule is being implemented by the Philadelphia Departments of Parks & Recreation and Public Health.

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on recreation center property – indoors or outdoors, including playgrounds, ball fields, courts, parking lots, lawns, and pool areas.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of smoke-free recreation centers to children?

Reducing children’s exposure to adults who smoke.

  • Tens of thousands of children use Philadelphia’s rec centers every year. Children are more likely to smoke if they see others smoking, particularly adults. This policy will reduce children’s exposure to the powerful effects of watching adults smoke and it will reinforce anti-smoking norms in our community.

Protecting children and adults from exposure to secondhand smoke.

  • According to the U.S. Surgeon General, there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • When individuals inhale cigarette smoke, either directly or secondhand, they are inhaling more than 7,000 chemicals: hundreds of these are hazardous and at least 69 are known to cause cancer
  • Outdoor secondhand smoke is often an irritant to non-smokers and can be both an acute and chronic health hazard to some individuals.

How do smoke-free recreation centers benefir the environment?

Providing a cleaner environment by reducing littered cigarette butts.

  • Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world.  The new law will reduce litter, ease sanitation demands and lower the risk of fire.

What are the benefits for smokers?

Reducing smoking rates and promoting quit attempts among smokers

  • Public smoke-free policies have been shown to give smokers additional motivation and support to quit.


To report a smoking complaint at recreation centers, please call 215-685-5681.

If you are a Recreation Center Manager and would like to request more education materials, please contact Amna Rizvi.





Executive Order – Smoke-Free Recreation Centers


Get Healthy Philly is a project of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and is made possible, in part, by funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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