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Playing Tobacco Free: Making Your Park & Recreational Facilities Tobacco Free. What is Tobacco-Free Youth Recreation (TFYR)?. Statewide program of the Minnesota Youth Tobacco Prevention Initiative

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Playing Tobacco Free:

Making Your Park & Recreational Facilities Tobacco Free


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What is Tobacco-Free Youth Recreation (TFYR)?

  • Statewide program of the Minnesota Youth Tobacco Prevention Initiative

  • Build partnerships between local recreational organizations and health professionals to work on tobacco prevention

  • Give assistance to groups in their effort to create tobacco-free environments to model and promote healthy lifestyles


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Groups that Support Tobacco-Free Policies

  • The National Alliance for Youth Sports and the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation state that parents must demand a tobacco, drug and alcohol-free environment.

  • The National Youth Sports Coaches Association Code of Ethics states that each coach should provide a sports environment that is free of tobacco, drugs, and alcohol.

  • Little League

  • The Minnesota Youth Soccer Association prohibits the use of tobacco during sanctioned events and activities


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A Local Park & Recreation Perspective

“In order to influence youth towards a positive lifestyle, it takes a united front between all involved: family, school and community. Our goal is to unite all community groups to demonstrate to youngsters that tobacco use is not a part of a healthy lifestyle.”

--Bob Bierscheid,

St. Paul Parks & Recreation Department


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Why are tobacco-free policies effective?

Why are policies effective?

  • They reinforce to the community the message that tobacco use is unhealthy and unnecessary behavior.

  • They ensure that participants and spectators are not exposed to secondhand smoke.

  • They create an environment where leaders can model and promote positive, healthy lifestyle choices.



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Why are city tobacco-free policies for outdoor facilities important?

  • Tobacco-free environments protect the health, safety, and welfare of the community.

  • A city policy creates consistency for youth recreation facilities in the community, since most school districts prohibit tobacco use at their outdoor facilities.

  • Policies for city-owned facilities support local groups (soccer clubs, etc.) who use city facilities and promote healthy lifestyles.

  • Discarded cigarette butts cause litter, require maintenance expenses, and can be ingested by toddlers.


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What does a typical city tobacco-free policy look like? important?

  • Policies outline the specific outdoor recreational facilities that are covered (playgrounds, parks, beaches, etc.).

  • Policies prohibit spectators and participants from using tobacco.

  • Policies describe how facility users will be notified (user mailings, policy guidebooks, etc.).

  • Policies outline how enforcement will occur.


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How are these policies enforced? important?

  • Similar to other park policies, such as alcohol and litter policies, primary enforcement tool is signage.

  • Other methods include policy manual, newsletter, and e-mail updates.

  • Signed statements from teams, participants, coaches, and parents are other ways to notify facility users.

  • Each department’s regulation requirements vary – but some departments ask violators to leave the facility for the remainder of the event.


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TFYR Signage Qualifications important?

To qualify for TFYR’s FREE metal signs, your tobacco-free policy must include:

  • A list of all the facilities it covers

  • A statement that all forms of tobacco use are prohibited

  • An enforcement plan that includes user notification, signage, and occasional staff compliance checks


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Available Resources important?

Policy Development & Implementation Resources

  • TFYR Model Policy

  • Examples of various park & recreation policies

  • Free outdoor signage

    Other Prevention Resources

  • Tobacco prevention posters

  • Team/Player Pledges

  • Recreational Leader’s Guide


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