Zoo to implement non-smoking policy May 26

The zoo will go tobacco-free in compliance with new Metro policy

The Oregon Zoo is going smoke-free. Starting May 26, the use of tobacco products, including cigarettes, will be prohibited on zoo grounds as part of a wider policy that affects all Metro-operated facilities. Smoking has long been prohibited inside zoo buildings, but has previously been allowed in designated outdoor areas.

"Eliminating tobacco and its byproducts, particularly secondhand smoke, will help us provide a healthy, safe environment for visitors, staff and animals," said Kim Smith, zoo director.

Last May, the Metro Council unanimously approved a policy limiting the use of all tobacco products on Metro grounds. The policy is a part of larger efforts at Metro to promote healthy and sustainable communities and maintain clean outdoor spaces free of pollutants. It also supports the agency's primary responsibility of preserving and enhancing the quality of life and the environment for future generations.

The council decided to implement the policy in a series of four phases over the course of a year. Now, the Oregon Zoo, part of the final phase, is emptying its ashtrays for the last time.

Metro, the regional government that serves 1.4 million people who live in the 25 cities and three counties of the Portland metropolitan area, provides planning and other services that protect the nature and livability of our region.