Beginning in 2015, thanks to an updated ordinance passed by the El Paso City Council, no smoking of any kind was allowed in city parks. The Parks and Recreation Department posted no-smoking signs at every park and provided training for Parks and Recreation Department employees. Most smoke free ordinances are self-enforcing once the public is aware of the law.
A detailed community assessment and input from a variety of local stakeholders allowed the city of La Mirada, California to set lofty goals for improving health. With plenty of room for improvement locally, a collaborative group targeted workplaces as a site for beginning a culture change.
The challenge: Create smoke-free zones in a community where local governments have limited authority to regulate their environment and where tobacco is a $61 million enterprise. The success: 200 signs in 50 smoke-free places in Arlington, Virginia, new local partnerships to address chronic disease, and a collaborative environment ready to make more changes.
The community of Longview, Washington looked at the data; nearly 30% of pregnant women smoked during pregnancy, and rates for teens and adults were also high. Despite having a “Clean Air Act” that prohibited smoking in bars and restaurants, many places were still not smoke free.
Casper, Wyoming is home to about 55,000 residents; it is a small city with 42 parks, an indoor ice rink and a "small but developing" system of trails. And, Casper, like many communities in the U.S., is struggling with poor health statistics, an epidemic of chronic diseases including obesity, and a lack of coordination between public agencies.