Smoke-Free Parks and Rec Centers

On May 23, 2011, Mayor Michael Nutter signed an executive order that made recreation centers in Philadelphia 100% smoke-free. Smoking is not allowed anywhere on recreation center property, including playgrounds, ball fields, courts, parking lots, lawns, and pool areas.

On April 29, 2014, Mayor Nutter signed a second executive order that expanded smoke-free recreation spaces to include all City-owned parks.

Both rules are being implemented by the Philadelphia Departments of Parks & Recreation
and Public Health.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Reducing children’s exposure to adults who smoke.

  • Tens of thousands of children use Philadelphia’s parks and recreation centers every year. Children are more likely to smoke if they see others smoking, especially adults. These policies reduce children’s exposure to watching adults smoke and reinforce anti-smoking norms in our community.

Protecting children and adults from exposure to secondhand smoke.

  • According to the US Surgeon General, there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • When people inhale cigarette smoke, either directly or secondhand, they are inhaling more than 7,000 chemicals.  Hundreds of these chemicals 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 parks and recreation centers help the environment?

Providing a cleaner environment by reducing littered cigarette butts.

  • Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world.  Smoke-free policies help to 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 in City-owned parks or rec centers, please contact us
at 215-685-5681.

If you are a Recreation Center Manager and would like to request smoke-free signs
(see below) or other education materials, please contact Amna Rizvi.


Executive Order: Smoke-Free Recreation Centers
News Release: Smoke-Free Parks
Fact Sheet: Smoke-Free Parks








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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