NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) – The City of New Bedford is posting new “smoke-free” signs at its beaches, parks, playgrounds, and zoo in an effort to encourage residents and visitors to embrace healthy living.
The regulations prohibit smoking in public places and include a ban on the use of nicotine delivery products such as e-cigarettes.
The city says adverse health effects from cigarette smoking account for more than 440,000 deaths each year, or nearly one out of every five individuals, according to national health statistics.
Their new signs are intended to curb smoking and the production of harmful second-hand smoke which can lead to serious health conditions including cancer, asthma, respiratory infections, and heart disease.
Children are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of second hand smoke. Cigarette butts are made of acetate and do not degrade easily in the environment, they are also a source of filth and can be dangerous if eaten by children, pets and wildlife.
“Children exposed to second-hand smoke inhale many of the same cancer-causing substances as smokers. There is no safe level of exposure; even brief exposures can be harmful. Promoting an entirely smoke-free environment is necessary to protect both smokers and non-smokers alike,” said Brenda Weis, New Bedford Health Director.
Creating and installing the signs was a team effort involving municipal departments of Health, Zoo, Parks Recreation & Beaches, Public Infrastructure, and Traffic, as well as community partner Southcoast Health System.
For more information or to view the signs online, please visit: http://www.newbedford-ma.gov/health/overview.html.