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Parks and Recreation Tobacco-Free Model Policy

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Copy and paste the policy text into a document and use as is or modify it with your personal organizational branding to meet the unique needs of your community or facility.


The City of [name] is committed to the quality of life for all residents, therefore, we believe that:

  1. Commercial tobacco product use in proximity of children, youth, and adults engaging in or watching recreational activities is unhealthy and detrimental to the health of others.
  2. As parents, leaders, coaches, and officials, we are thought of as role models, and the use of commercial tobacco products around youth has a negative effect on their lifestyle choices.


  1. Smoking: inhaling, exhaling, burning, operating, or carrying any lighted or heated Tobacco Product or Vapor Product, as defined herein.
  2. Tobacco Product: any item made of tobacco intended for human consumption, including cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, and smokeless tobacco. Tobacco Product also includes Vapor Product. Tobacco Product does not include traditional tobacco.
  3. Vapor Product: any electronic cigarette, electronic cigar, electronic cigarillo, electronic pipe, or similar product or device and any vapor cartridge or other container of nicotine in a solution or other form that is intended to be used with or in an electronic cigarette, electronic cigar, electronic cigarillo, electronic pipe, or similar product or device. The term, Vapor Product, does not include any product approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for sale as tobacco cessation products and marketed and sold solely for that purpose.
  4. Traditional tobacco (Ċanśaśa): The cuttings or shavings of plants in their natural form such as red willow bark, sage, and sweet grass. Traditional tobacco has no additives and is used for medicinal purposes, ceremony, prayer, and social gatherings.
  5. [Facility] Property: includes, but is not limited to [locations].



Commercial tobacco use is prohibited in the [City] parks and recreational facilities. The use of traditional tobacco is not prohibited.

  1. This policy applies to all employees, independent contractors, and members of the general public while attending and using the parks and outdoor recreational facilities.
  2. The use of commercial tobacco is prohibited in these areas: [List all applicable areas including restrooms, playgrounds, picnic areas, performance areas, baseball, and other related fields, and buildings and their entrances].

Traditional Tobacco Use

In respect for the traditional tobacco use of American Indians, traditional tobacco used in the practice of cultural or religious activities will be the exclusive exception to this policy. Use of traditional tobacco for ceremonial purposes is permitted and must be approved in advance by the [designated City official or department] prior to use.



Tobacco-free signs shall be posted in the aforementioned areas and the community, event attendees, and staff will be notified about this policy.



The emphasis on enforcing this policy is through voluntary compliance; however, any patron at a city-owned park or recreational facility has the right to ask a tobacco user to extinguish or dispose of his or her tobacco product.

  1. Any person found violating this policy may be subject to immediate ejection from the recreation facility for the remainder of the event.
  2. Staff will make periodic observations of parks and recreational facilities to monitor for compliance.


Effective Date

The policy set forth above is effective [date] for City of [name] and was last updated [date].

Updated February 2023.