Smokefree DC is a citizen-based group whose goal is to promote smokefree environments in Washington, DC.

Smokefree playground measure advances

Great news: What started as a smokefree playground bill now includes parks, recreation centers and bus stops. It was approved unanimously today by the D.C. Council Committee on Transportation and the Environment.

According to the committee report for Bill 20-095, the “Smoking Restriction Amendment Act of 2013″ (could we rename it something like, the “Kids Will Be Able to Breathe Clean Air Now Act”?), the revised bill would prohibit the use of all tobacco products within parks, dog parks, trails, community facilities, swimming pools, spray parks and neighborhood recreation centers owned or maintained by the District.

Hooray. Members of the committee, which is chaired by Councilmember Mary Cheh (Ward 3), include Councilmembers Jim Graham (Ward 1),  Kenyan McDuffie (Ward 5), Tommy Wells (Ward 6) and David Grosso (At-Large).

The commitee report noted that nearly 300 U.S. municipalities have made bus stops smokefree, including Montgomery County, and more than 800 U.S. cities and municipalities have enacted laws making local parks smokefree. Secondhand smoke is a known health hazard; there is no safe level of exposure to it.

Smokefree DC testified for the bill. You can read about the hearing here.

We’ll let you know when the Council will vote. In the meantime, please let your local Councilmember know that you support this sensible health measure.


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