KC park areas go smoke-free

Updated: 2013-11-19T19:53:54Z

Yes, you can smoke while enjoying the great outdoors, as long it’s not where people congregate in Kansas City parks.

The city’s Parks and Recreation Department recently expanded its smoke-free policy to 130 city-owned parks where people, especially children and youth play and congregate.

In a news release, the department said the smoke-free policy grew out of a two-year collaboration with the city Health Department that was funded by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The department looked at cigarette-butt deposits at varied park sites, and 13 parks were made smoke-free inititally.

Now the city has placed 210 “Healthy Lungs at Play” signs in 130 parks, providing “smoke-free” zones for more than 400 locations most frequented by children and families. At minimum, the policy applies to playgrounds, athletic fields, pools and community centers.

Besides reducing exposure to tobacco smoke and reducing the number of cigarette butts littering the parks, the city hopes to reduce the modeling of unhealthy behavior by parents and others using the parks where children play.

| Elaine Adams, eadams@kcstar.com

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