City Sees Successful Implementation of Smoking and Tobacco Use Ordinance

Sioux Falls residents and visitors have been able to live well and breathe well over the past several months following the implementation of the ordinance regulating smoking and tobacco use on City property.

The ordinance, passed unanimously by the Sioux Falls City Council in May, was designed to promote a healthier environment, support individuals who wish to quit using tobacco, and provide positive role modeling for youth.

“It is no secret to anyone that I am not a fan of smoking or tobacco use. Anything we can do to minimize their deadly effects is well worth the effort,” says Mayor Mike Huether.

The ordinance prohibits the use of any tobacco products, including electronic smoking devices, on City-owned property when youth activities take place. Youth activities are defined as those in which the intended participants and/or the intended attendees are primarily under 18 years of age.

In addition, smoking, including the use of electronic smoking devices, is prohibited as follows:

  • The area within a distance of 25 feet from entrances of all City-owned buildings is smoke-free.
  • Special events held on City property are smoke-free unless the event organizer requests a defined smoking area that minimizes public exposure to smoking. The Parks and Recreation department must review and approve the designated area.
  • City property that is leased or managed by a third party is smoke-free; however, these properties may designate a smoking area that minimizes public exposure to smoking. Examples of these facilities include the Washington Pavilion, Orpheum Theater, Great Bear Recreation Area, Canaries Stadium, and the Sheraton Hotel.
  • The area inside the access road on the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center campus, which includes the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, Sioux Falls Convention Center and Sioux Falls Arena, is smoke-free. The access road connects Bailey Street to Western Avenue and Russell Street to Western Avenue.
  • City golf courses are smoke-free except for parking lots and during the course of play. The course of play is defined as after the first tee and before the green of the final hole of any nine holes of play.
  • Ticket, boarding, and waiting areas of any public transit depot are smoke-free.

Nearly all of the special events that took place over the past several months successfully provided guests with a smoke-free environment, including Hot Summer Nights, Hot Harley Nights, JazzFest, the Sidewalk Arts Festival, and Germanfest.

“At our City buildings and recreational facilities, we are uniquely positioned to interact with community members, families, and visitors on a daily basis,” says Public Health Director Jill Franken, “and it is essential that we provide healthy places for them to work, learn, socialize, and play. Every step forward we can take to reduce tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke will contribute to better health and a higher quality of life.”

To remind residents and visitors about the policy, the city has installed window clings at entrances to City buildings regarding the 25-foot “smoke-free zone,” as well as installed signs on City owned, managed, and leased properties.

More information about the ordinance is available at www.siouxfalls.org/breathe-well.