Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation will announce the details of a new tobacco use policy for City parks at a press conference at 2 p.m. on Monday, April 1, 2013, at the Siouxland Health and Human Services Building, 521 North Main Ave.

The new policy, which will take effect spring 2013, prohibits the use of tobacco in City
parks during youth activities (under age 18) and on all City playgrounds.

“This spring we take a step forward toward a healthier tomorrow for our youth,” states
Kelby Mieras. “As adults, we are role models to younger people, and what we do or say
affects them.”

In addition, cigarette butts are the No. 1 littered item in the world. Leftover
cigarette paraphernalia falls into rivers and streams, takes ten years to begin to break down, and worst of all, they are picked up and sometimes ingested by young children.

Tobacco is the single most preventable cause of death in the United States. It is
estimated to be responsible for about one in five deaths (about 443,000) per year.

Secondhand smoke is another major risk factor that comes with tobacco use. There is no safe level of secondhand smoke. Outdoor tobacco smoke can be smelled up to 23 feet away from the smoker—in all directions. In fact, 30,000–60,000 people die each year from the effects of breathing other people’s smoke.

If you or a friend or loved one needs assistance in quitting smoking, contact the free
South Dakota QuitLine at 1-866-SD-QUITS (1-866-737-8487).

I think I speak for nearly everyone when I say it will be nice to not have our children subject to smoke, cigarette butts on the soccer fields or baseball diamonds.

Source: Sioux Falls Parks and Rec. Dept.