No to Smoking Ban in Midland City


Despite a petition from the Midland County Tobacco Reduction Coalition, the City of Midland will continue to permit people to smoke cigarettes near kids in local playgrounds and beaches.

On Monday, the Midland City Council  received the petition demanding smoking ban in these areas. The Council decided not to ban smoking saying it would be difficult to apply the ordinance because there is need for time and money.

Midland County Tobacco Reduction Coalition along with Susan Dusseau, Midland resident, presented to the council a petition signed by 110 people against smoking. Susan says that among the population kids are most vulnerable to tobacco smoke and it is necessary to protect them. She adds that the issue is dear to her heart and she believes that kids are most important customers in the service area.

It would be perfect to ban smoking in every city park, however, the petition asks only to ban smoking in playground areas and beaches.   Amy Hovey, Coleman resident which makes part of Great Start Parent Coalition, says that  secondhand smoke affects negatively people’s health.  Therefore it is important to have a smoke-free environment for children,

Smoking ban will help kids and their parents with asthma and other conditions. The group is encouraging parents to approach to smoking people on the playground and ask them not to smoke.

Dusseau says that in parks already there exist rules prohibiting littering, intoxication and making noise. Smoking ban will be similar. She believes that the majority of people will respect it, including smokers. Generally speaking, smokers are very respectful and they do not want to hurt other people.

Major aim of the smoking ban is to prevent people from smoking-related diseases and also prevent  the next generation from becoming smokers. Dusseau said permitting smoking in playgrounds doesn’t strenghten the message that children shouldn’t smoke.  Other cities that already prohibited smoking in playgrounds are Bad Axe, Traverse City,  Marie, Sault Ste. Dusseau said that they are ready to pay for any signs needed.

In his turn, Jon Lynch, Midland City Manager said when the council considers a ban on a legal private activity, it has to take into account if the ban should be done, and if so, the way it should be done. Here the main question is whether the well-being of kids outweighs an adult’s right to perform a legal activity in a public place.

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