The City of Schenectady became the most recent Capital District community to pass a local law that will help save lungs, lives and the planet by prohibiting smoking and vaping of both tobacco and cannabis in all city parks.

Inhaling secondhand smoke from tobacco and cannabis, and secondhand aerosols from e-cigarettes isn’t just an annoyance; it’s a health hazard. Tobacco and cannabis smoke and vape aerosols all contain chemicals known to cause cancer in humans. For people with asthma and certain other chronic conditions, even brief exposure can have serious and life-threatening consequences.

Cigarette butts, the most littered item in the world, are non-biodegradable and toxic to animals, people and the environment. E-cigarette waste may pose an even greater danger. Disposable vapes and the pods used in reusable devices, contain remnants of highly concentrated liquid nicotine or THC which, when ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin, can be poisonous within minutes. Disposable vape devices also contain lithium batteries which pose fire risks .

Congratulations, Schenectady, for joining a growing number of local municipalities with comprehensive smoke- and vape-free policies that include tobacco and cannabis. To find out if your community has a smoke- and vape-free policy in place, visit the Tobacco-Free Outdoors page of our website.

Safer, healthier and more family-friendly public spaces is a great way to celebrate Earth Day 2023.