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Tobacco-Free Recreational Facilities

(a) A person may not use any form of tobacco: (1) in a restroom, at a spectator or concession area, dog park, aquatic facility, or playground in any County park; or (2) within 100 yards of an organized activity at a County park.
(b) (1) “Organized activity” means an event that has a defined time for starting and ending and is in a designated or permitted area of a County park. “Organized activity” includes athletic events, concerts, and special events such as arts fairs. (2) “Park” includes recreational facility.(3) “Tobacco” to include but not be limited to cigarettes, cigars, snuff, pipes and spit tobacco.
(a) Recreation and Parks staff shall post appropriate signage: (1) in restrooms,  and at spectator and concession areas, dog parks, aquatic facilities, and playgrounds; and (2) in locations at which organized activities take place.
(b) Recreation and Parks staff shall notify community organizations and distribute brochures to park users.
(c) Recreation and Parks staff shall monitor compliance.
(d) For any person who violates the tobacco-free rule, Recreation and Parks staff shall request that the person cease the use of tobacco and give a verbal warning.  If the person refuses to cease, staff authorized by the Director may request that the person leave the park.
  • The Department of Recreation and Parks has a responsibility to protect the health and safety of our community's children and adults while they use the County's recreation facilities, and adopting the Tobacco-Free policy is part of this responsibility.
  • On average in Anne Arundel County, two people die each day from cancer and five more people are newly diagnosed with cancer.  (Source: Maryland Cancer Registry)
  • Secondhand smoke is harmful in both indoor and outdoor settings.  Exposure to secondhand smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death in America.  Secondhand smoke levels in outdoor public places can reach levels as high as those found in indoor facilities where smoking is permitted.
  • Almost 90% of adult smokers began to use tobacco at or before age 18.   (Source: Campaign for for Tobacco-Free Kids)
  • Tobacco-Free policies are public park policies similar to those prohibiting alcohol use or littering in public parks and recreational facilities.
Benefits of Anne Arundel County's Tobacco-Free Recreational Facilities
  • Protects the health of youth and adults by eliminating exposure to the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.
  • Encourages youth not to start using tobacco products.
  • Demonstrates that adults want youth to remain tobacco-free and provides youth with positive role models.

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