Rhode Islanders want smoke-free outdoors
A recent survey conducted by the state Department of Health and a handful of community organizations show an increased demand for smoke-free outdoor areas. More than 900 Rhode Island residents were asked to rate how supportive they would be if different outdoor areas such as beaches, parks, playgrounds and sports venues no longer allowed smoking. Overall, the results favored such bans.
“Smoke-free outdoor areas would not only protect public health, but also reduce cigarette litter, decrease the risk of fire, send a positive message to kids, and create supportive environments for smokers to finally kick the habit,” said Michael Fine, director of the health department.
A number of communities have already taken steps to adopt smoke-free outdoor air policies. Last month Central Falls passed an ordinance banning smoking on school grounds, playgrounds, parks and public events involving youth, families and seniors. Similarly, Woonsocket recently celebrated its first smoke-free Autumnfest, and Charlestown has banned smoking on its town beaches.