There is no better time than the present to stop smoking. That’s because as of January 1, 2017, smoking is prohibited at all Hoffman Estates Park District (HE Parks) properties, except for Bridges of Poplar Creek Country Club. All facilities and parks are now smoke free, including electric cigarettes. This ban was put in place because establishing a smoke-free park system directly supports its mission “to provide healthy and enjoyable activities” in its facilities and parks. HE Parks made the decision because the effects of smoking and secondhand smoke are the cause of many diseases and health conditions leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths annually.
“The Park Board of Commissioners felt that this step was necessary to fully encourage a healthy lifestyle for all our residents,” said Park Board President Mike Bickham. “People come to our parks and facilities to take part in healthy activities. We don’t think they should be exposed to secondhand smoke in the process.”
The Grim Statistics
The health effects of smoking and secondhand smoke exposure are numerous. Here are some facts, according to the American Lung Association and the Centers for Disease Control. (Sources: Lung.org and CDC.gov)
- Smoking causes death. More than 438,000 Americans die every year from smoking. Yet, these deaths can be avoided. Death by smoking is the leading cause of preventable death by such diseases as cardiovascular disease and lung cancer.
- Secondhand smoke causes death. More than 41,000 people die from exposure to secondhand smoke each year. These deaths also can be prevented.
- Smoke increases illnesses in children. Kids exposed to secondhand smoke suffer more illnesses during their childhood, including asthma and ear infections.
- Smoking increases SIDS in infants. Exposure to secondhand smoke increases healthy infants’ risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- Smoking generates pollution. Millions of cigarette butts are littered each year across the country.
“Hundreds of children visit our facilities and parks each day,” said Executive Director Dean Bostrom. “Seeing adults smoking outside our facilities and in our parks sets a poor example for our impressionable young people. Encouraging a healthy lifestyle for everyone is our main goal.”
About HE Parks
Providing first-class parks, facilities, programs and services for a dynamic community of more than 50,000 in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, HE Parks operates two community centers, twin ice arenas, a premier 18-hole golf course, state-of-the-art fitness center, family aquatic center and more than 70 parks. Facilities include Triphahn Community Center & Ice Arena, Willow Recreation Center, Bridges of Poplar Creek Country Club, Prairie StoneTM Sports & Wellness Center, Seascape Family Aquatic Center and Vogelei Park & Barn.
In 2013 HE Parks was accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). It has been recognized as an Illinois Distinguished Park and Recreation Agency by the Illinois Park and Recreation Association and is the recipient of the National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Parks & Recreation Management by the National Recreation & Parks Association; the highest national honor in the public recreation category.
For more information visit heparks.org or call 847-885-7500.