Tobacco Free Outdoors Campaign



Tobacco litter is poisonous and puts children, pets and wildlife at risk. Our playgrounds, parks and beaches should not be used as ash trays.


* Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter.


* Nearly all cigarette butts are made up of plastic like cellulose acetate fibers and can take decades to decompose.


* Cigarette butts have been found in the stomachs of fish, whales, birds and other marine animals, leading to ingestion of hazardous chemicals and digestive blockages.


* Discarded cigarette butts contain the tars absorbed by the filter and levels of bacteria from smoker’s mouths and lungs, posing a health hazard to small children who routinely tend to pick up items off the ground and place them in their mouths.


Exposure to secondhand smoke in outdoor recreational areas can be hazardous. Outdoor recreational areas should be places that people can breathe fresh air and exercise smoke free.


* The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has classified secondhand smoke as a Class A Carcinogen placing it in the same category as radon, benzene, and asbestos.


* Small amounts of secondhand smoke can trigger allergies, asthma attacks and other breathing problems.


* Because their lungs are smaller, children breathe in 50% more air pollution than an adult. They are more susceptible to the dangers associated with tobacco smoke even if outdoors.

What are the objectives of the campaign?

The objective of this campaign is to educate New Yorkers about the benefits of tobacco free outdoor recreational areas. The campaign raises awareness of the environmental impact of tobacco litter, dangers of secondhand smoke and influence on children when tobacco use is not restricted.


Is there assistance for organizations that want to adopt tobacco free outdoor policies?

Yes, the Community Partnerships for a Tobacco Free New York can provide sample policies, signage and/or assistance in creating outdoor tobacco use policies.
Click here to find your local ATFC partners.


Join Our Campaign


Click here to see if your recreation spot is tobacco free. Not on the list? Contact your local ATFC partners to make it happen.