City of Ontario Parks Become Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free
Ontario, CA – On August 21, 2018, the Ontario City Council unanimously approved a Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free Parks Ordinance, which took effect yesterday. In order to preserve public health, safety and maintain a family-friendly atmosphere in our City parks, the ordinance eliminates the use of tobacco and e-cigarettes in public parks.
The Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free Parks effort was initiated by a group of passionate Ontario teens, that are part of the City’s Teen Action Committee (TAC). These teens volunteered their time to research and document concerns related to the use of tobacco in the City’s parks.
“I am extremely proud to live and be part of a community, where our young people are taking charge of the future, and doing their part to make Ontario a better place for all us,” said Mayor Paul Leon.
With the help of City staff, the City Attorney and the Ontario Police Department, TAC teens drafted a proposed ordinance that restricts the use of tobacco and e-cigarettes in the City’s parks. They then presented their findings to the Recreation and Parks Commission, the Planning Commission and ultimately, to the City Council.
The effort began in November 2017, when TAC teens collected almost 2,300 cigarette butts from four local parks. The cigarette butts show the impact these tobacco products have on the environment and overall park atmosphere. TAC teens also surveyed 202 adults and 98 children at Ontario community centers to obtain feedback on smoking and tobacco in our parks.
Their efforts and passion for change won City Council support and has led to a successful policy aimed at improving health, the environment and overall quality-of-life for the Ontario community. The Ontario City Council commended the effort and encouraged the teens to attend future City Council meetings and provide updates on their Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free Parks Campaign.
About the City of Ontario
The City of Ontario is Leading the Way in creating urban lifestyle districts that create sustainable places to live, work and play. Located just 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, the City of Ontario is ideally situated as Southern California’s gateway. With three major interstates, two railroads and the Ontario International Airport, Ontario offers direct access from Los Angeles to the rest of California, and to North America. With over 170,000 residents and residential development on the rise, Ontario looks to double its population in the next 20 years, making it one of the 100 most populated cities in the nation. Complementing its business and residential core, Ontario dazzles with its amenities such as the Ontario Convention Center, Citizens Business Bank Arena, and the Ontario Mills Mall. To learn more about the City of Ontario, visit www.ontarioca.gov or call (909) 395-2000.