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Kaua‘i’s First Smoke-Free Dog Park

In March 2022, TFK conducted a survey about Kaua‘i county parks which revealed that of the residents that completed the survey, 88% support smoke-free dog parks. On Kaua‘i, there are 2 county dog parks and 1 privately owned dog park managed by the Kaua‘i Humane Society (KHS). Since the dog park at KHS is privately owned, it is exclusively for annual membership holders, however, non-members may purchase a day-pass to access the dog park. 

 

On May 22, KHS’ grand re-opening celebration of their dog park in its new location was open to the public with a free day at the smoke-free dog park for all. Being able to collaborate with KHS to modify their park policies was a milestone and will help TFK learn more about the experience and opinions of park users on the new smoke-free policy. We hope to see Kaua‘i county parks follow suit and continue to help support efforts to address secondhand smoke and promote public health. 

 

Since 2012, Tobacco-Free Kaua‘i (TFK) worked with the Kaua‘i County Council to introduce a bill to add tobacco/smoking to the list of prohibited items at county parks. As a result, Kaua‘i has a few parks that are tobacco/smoke free. Negotiating the logistics to help protect the health of people who utilize county parks is not that simple. 

 

TFK faced numerous opinions in relation to public spaces and regulating tobacco-use. The members of TFK strongly believe that improving the air quality at outdoor spaces starts with tobacco policy to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke. Studies have also documented that youth who witness adults using tobacco in public places, normalizes tobacco-use behavior for teens and children. If communities can eliminate tobacco-use in public spaces it will reduce the perception of normalized tobacco-use behavior and in turn reduce the amount of youth who start tobacco products or perceive smoking as a social identity they wish to establish.

 

Currently these parks on Kaua‘i are tobacco-free:

  • Lydgate Park: Kamalani playground area, since 2016
  • Poipu Beach Park, since 2018
  • All State parks (smoke-free), since 2015

 

For questions or to help with TFK’s smoke-free county parks campaign please contact: valerie@hiphi.org or at 808-591-6508 extension 12.

Photo: Daisy (a former KHS shelter dog) showing excitement under the smoke-free signage as the photographer asked Daisy how she felt about the park being officially smoke-free, Daisy’s human, too, was excited for the park area to be smoke-free.

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