Seattle Commissioners to Ban Smoking in Parks

Seattle Park

Park commissioners in Seattle, Washington state, want to prohibit use of cigarettes in all city parks. In case the law would be adopted, smoking is going to be banned in all public zones under the city’s parks’ jurisdiction. However, the law would not make part of the Seattle Municipal Code.

On April 16 there would be organized public hearing in order to give the possibility to speak to all interested parties.

Superintendent Christopher Williams told that they adressed the smoke-free proposal to the Board of Park Commissioners because tobacco use has nothing to do with healthy people and healthy environments. People coming to a park want to relax and enjoy beauty of nature. They want to inhale fresh and clean air, free of tobacco smoke.

If the city passes the smoke-free ordinance, people violating it would receive a warning. In case of repeated violations, they would be banned from visiting the park.

The new smoke-free initiative expands the existing smoking ban adopted back in 2010. The existing law prohibits use of tobacco within 25 feet of other park visitors on playgrounds, beaches.

After public hearing, the Park Board will discuss the issue on May 14, and after that will make a recommendation to the superintendent. The superintendent will have to analyze the recommendation and say his final decision till the end of May.

Another reason which influenced anti-smoker activists to promote the law is the big number of butts on the ground in parks.

According to Matt DeGooyer, executive director of the American Lung Association in Washington, there is no safe level of secondhand smoke and they welcome the new smoke-free initiative in Seattle.

Experts believe that such anti-smoking actions would help to de-normalize smoking in the society. At the same time this will help to create healthy environments for non-smokers, kids and elderly people. Ecologists are especially worried with litter in parks saying that the biggest part of it is butts from cigarettes. For example, during  the 2013 International Coastal Cleanup number one item found on beaches in Washington state was butts.

The list of Washington major cities banning smoking in parks includes Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago.

Similar Posts:

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *