Tag Archives: Smoking Ban

Allegheny County Housing Authority Bans Smoking at Five Units

Smoker

Housing Authority in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, told last week about its intention to prohibit smoking in five of its units.

According to county authorities, up to date totally 330 units were designated as smoke-free in the county. The talk is about G.W. Carver Hall in Clairton, Ohioview Tower in McKees Rocks, Andrew Carnegie Apartments in Carnegie, West Mifflin Manor in West Mifflin, John Frazer Hall in Turtle Creek.

The smoking bans in housing units make part of the initiative to create a smoke-free environment in the county in the course of Live Well Allegheny campaign which promotes healthy living.

According to Frank Aggazio, the executive director of the county housing authority, the goal of the Authority is to provide safe and decent apartments for people in Allegheny County, and to modify the traditional look of public housing.

Smoke-free policy in the housing authority is a proven way to imrove health of its residents. Besides this, it permits the Authority to maintain its investments in good condition.

The Allegheny County authorities say that in the past 12 years in the Housing Authority took place three fires which resulted in $1 million damage. Each of these cases was caused by smoking cigarettes inside. Cleaning smoker’s apartment of tobacco smoke also costs a big sum of money for the housing.

More Connecticut Cities Want a Smoking Ban

Cigarettes on Beaches

The Recreation Department in Milford city, Connecticut, wants to prohibit smoking  at Little League fields, city parks, beaches and other recreation areas. The city wants to join a number of Connecticut cities who already did it.

As Director of Recreation Paul Piscitelli says, by now it is only the idea, because the proposal was not brought officially to Parks, Beach and Recreation Commission.

Piscitelli told that over the last several years the department got a lot of complaints regarding smoking cigarettes online at ballfields.

The Recreation Department programs are destined for people’s health and wellness, and secondhand smoke has nothing to do with that. Smoking in public places is not only about secondhand smoke effects, but also about an example for others. When youth sees smokers everywhere, they start thinking that smoking is a normal thing.

According to Chris Stan, spokesman for the state’s Department of Health, the Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Program works together with municipalities to make their parks, beaches and recreation areas smoke-free. Totally there are 169 municipalities in Connecticut, and among them 12 implemented a smoke-free policy in parks and beaches.

Guilford prohibited smoking on beaches 20 years ago. The main reason for that decision was to reduce litter on beaches and prevent kids from picking up cigarette butts. Parks and Recreation Director Rick Maynard told the sand was like a “giant ashtray” to smokers. Today people caught smoking on Guilford beach will have to pay a fine of $50-$90.  It is a well known fact that cigarette butts are extremely difficult to remove from sand.

Alex Palluzzi, Department of Parks and Recreation in Branford, saus that it is a great idea to implement smoking ban in the municipality, but the issude should be researched first.

Smoking Ban in Chicago Extended to Parks

Smoking in Park

Last week District Board of Commissioners in Chicago with the majority of votes adopted an ordinance which prohibits smoking in city parks and harbors. The ordinance comes into action immediately. Previously smoking ban ordinance was adopted in 2007 and it prohibited smoking on playgounds, beaches and buildings situated on Park District.

The change came right before Riot Fest music festival that took place at Humboldt Park on weekend. There will be placed no-smoking signs in parks to inform people about the ban. The ordinance prohibits use not only of cigarettes but also of cigars, e-cigarettes, pipies and marijuana.

Joel Africk, president and CEO of the Respiratory Health Association, says that the smoking ban in parks follows three major aims:
– to reduce litter in parks;
– protect people from secondhand smoke exposure;
– encourage people to quit.

It is considered that the less children will see people smoking Camel cigarettes in public places the more are the chances they will keep away from the habit in their adult age.

However, the anti-smokng ordinance raised questions on how it will be applied. Commissioner Vice President Avis LaVelle says that there should be a concrete idea of that, but it is clear that it is the police who will watch out for the enforcement. The fine for breaking the law is $500.

Recently the American Lung Association visited ten parks in Chicago and found out that only one of them had a no-smoking sign behind the playground. They say that all parks should have these signs.

Smoking in parks was banned in New York City in 2011 and in Boston in 2013. Generally, more American cities and counties ban smoking in aprks. Thus authorities in Kent County discuss the smoking ban in parks.

Pleasant Hill to Expand Smoking Ban

Smoking Woman

In 2013, Michael Harris, the Council Member of Pleasant Hill proposed to prohibit smoking in the downtown shopping district, but the proposal did not gain any support. So the ban was not adopted. Harris considers it was not a perfect moment to come with such a proposal as City Council had on its agenda the regulation of gun sales.

However, Harris says regualting smoking in the city is one of most important issues to deal with today. A lot of families with kids do walk in downtown for shopping or in restaurants, and they are forced to inhale tobacco smoke there. Harris considers smoking should be prohibited there, because secondhand smoke affects negatively human body, especially in kids.

He considers that smoking ban in downtown is the best thing to do for residents to improve the environment in places they most often do visit.

Last week Harris asked the City Council to reconsider his proposal of smoking ban in downtown and include e-cigarettes in it. The Council will discuss the proposal this week at City Hall. Smoker John who chooses Kent cigarettes is against the ban and says that in 2013 the Council had to decide the issue with gun sale and there was not a right time to put into discussion the smoking ban.

Data presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says that annually thousands of people suffer from smoking related diseases and here secondhand smoke plays not a last role.

In 2013 Walnut Creek approved a policy that bans smoking in all public places, including downtown, recreational areas and multiunit housing. There was expanded smoking ban around Todos Santos Plaza.

During past several years  Pleasant Hill adopted several smoking bans. Back in 2006, the city prohibited smoking in many public places and workplaces. In 2010 smoking was banned at bus stations, ticket lines and ATMs. In 2011 smoking was prohibited in city parks, hiking trails, open areas, parking lots and other places.

Ocean City Wants to Restrict Smoking on Beaches

Smoking Man

During their town Council meeting, authorities in Ocean City, Maryland, voted for adopting a new anti-smoking law that would ban smoking on beaches and along the boardwalk. However, smoking will be allowed in designated areas. The law was approved with 4 votes for and 3 against it.

The authorities of the city expalin that smoking ban on the beaches will help to reduce litter and prevent visitors from secondhand smoke. However, the ban will touch regular cigarettes, but e-cigarettes are not included in it.

Designated areas will be created at the distance of no more than 50 feet to the beach. On the beaches there will be placed no-smoking signs informing people about the ban.

Designated areas for smokers will be clearly marked.

There was made a survey, which revealed that among 37 respondents 30 told they support the smoking ban and 7 told they do not. 60% of hotels and motels support smoking restrictions.

Authorities say that in order to create designated smoking areas. is needed around $20,000.

The law now is in form of draft and this month the anti-smoking law will be proposed for final approval. In case it would be approved, it would come into action from may 1, 2015.

Illinois May Prohibit Smoking in Beer Gardens

Beer Garden

According to Illinois Register,  Illinois Department of Public Health proposed to expand existing smoking ban and prohibit smoking in beer gardens, patios and other outdoor seating zones in the next months after introduction of new regulations

Thus the law would ban smoking in all indoor and outdoor dining areas such as bars, restaurants, beer gardens, patios, rooftops, decks, concession areas. The measure is taken in order to protect visitors and worlers from secondhand smoke.

The existing law allows smoking cigarettes online outdoors and that were the only places where smokers could still light up. However, if the new change comes into effect, they will no longer have this right.

Dave Koehler, the Senator of Illinois, in 2012 approved a law, which allowed smoking in outdoor areas of patios and beer gardens. However, instead of calling the law for a vote, Beer Garden Task Force sent to the Department of Public Health a request to specify in what outdoor places smoking to be allowed. The Department gave no clear answer.

The law was reintroduced again in 2013 and again there were provided no details about it.

Workers and owners of several establishments in the city of Peoria were fined for smoking in public place or for failing to prevent smoking. One of them was Dan Kouri, owner of beer garden at Kouri’s Pub on Sterling Avenue.  Before constructing his beer garden, he found out from the Illinois Department of Public Health all the information regarding smoking. He wanted to know where partons may smoke and was told that in beer garden smoking will be permitted.

Jerry Brady,  Peoria County State’s Attorney, told that he could no enforce the existing smoking ban because many things are unclear in it. Therefore it needs to be clarified.

Anti-Smoking Initiative in Alamo Heights

Smoking Woman

The authorities in Alamo Heights, Texas, soon will organize public hearing to find out resident’s opinion on smoking ban inside public buildings.

Louis Cooper, Mayor of Alamo Heights, asked city staff to include the subject into the schedule on the next meeting of City Council, which will take place next Monday, 5:30 p.m.

Mayor says that the city is persistent in its attempt to fight smoking and create healthy enviroments for its residents and visitors. Cooper told that last months he received a lot of e-mails from residents asking to consider a smoking ban, so Alamo Heights now is going into a right direction towards smoke-free environment.

Starting from July 2014, around 80 cities in Texas have introduced different smoking bans, including such cities as Schertz and San Antonio. However, there are no smoking bans in Terrell Hills and Olmos Park, and smoking cigarettes online is allowed everywhere. Frisco introduced smoking ban in parks.

As to businesses, they have right to decide by themselves to prohibit smoking in their establishments or not. However, Cooper supports smoking ban in public buildings, as that is what authorities may do to protect people from effects of secondhand smoke.  The Mayor wants to hear all opinions on that during the public meeting. He believes that the majority of people will support the initiative, because they do undestand the importance of healthy environments. However, there are people who oppose the proposal and they speak about smoker’s rights.

Stephanie Regets,  Alamo Heights Chamber of Commerce President, said that the city needs to implement this anti-smoking ordinance. Non-smokers and their kids must feel themselves comfortable in restaurants and other public places.

Frisco Included E-cigarettes in Smoking Ban

Smoking in Parks

Yesterday City Council in Frisco, Texas, voted 3-2 to expand its smoking ordinance in order to protect the health of its citizens. The ordinance bans not only use of regular cigarettes but also e-cigarettes in all city parks.

However, the law would allow to use chewing tobacco, as the authorities did not build a consensus about them. The proposal of extending smoking ban came in February, but council members delayed their decision.

Council Member Scott Johnson feels solicitous about the fact that smoking ban was not extended to parks till now. Today the issue is a priority because health is the proprity.

These days many researchers speak about negative effects of secondhand smoke exposure, especially when the talk is about kids. Children must be protected from inhaling tobacco smoke at sporting events.

Council member Jeff Cheney every day plays in a city park with his three kids and often they are forced to inhale tobacco smoke. The problem of secondhand smoke exposure is very serious. Another problem is cigarette litter. However, chewing tobacco also represents a problem as smokers do spit it on the fields.

With the new anti-smoking ordinance Frisco joins cities of McKinney and Prosper which prohibit smoking in parks. According toAmerican Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, totally there are 965 cities in the USA that ban smoking in all city parks. But still there are large cities where smoking in parks is permitted, for example, in Dallas.

Councilmen opposing the initiative claim that smoking is a legal activity and in parks should be permitted. They proposed to ban smoking only near playgrounds and seating areas, but the idea was not supported by others. Also some council members wanted to not include e-cigarettes in the ban saying they are safe.

Anti-Smoking Tour in Kentucky

Smoking

63-years-old Cline spends most of his spare time working with Smoke-Free Kentucky, a coalition consisting of organizations and individuals who support smoking ban in all public and workplaces in the state.

At the beginning of the week, on July 28, the coalition started in Ashland a statewide tour to gather support the anti-smoking law that is going to be adopted in the 2015 General Assembly. The law will ban smoking in bars, restaurants, workplaces, public buildings, offices.

The law supporters had a meeting at King’s Daughters Medical Center where they shared their experiences. They discussed the importance of protecting non-smokers and kids from secondhand smoke exposure and the effects of smoking on human body. Many non-smokers inhale tobacco smoke in bars and other public places because they do not know that secondhand smoke is not good for their bodies.

Eric Evans, a spokesman for the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, said that during tour, the coalition will visit a number of cities in Kentucky to attract attention of lawmakers to the problem. Smoke-Free Coalition considers that voices of simple people must be heard. Today more and more American states introduce smoking bans and Kentucky must follow their example. Smokers prefer Marlboro brand among others and they dislike the idea of smoking ban.

It was estimated that around 65% Kentuckians do support smoke-free public places. As to businesses, experts say they will not be affected at all. In case Kentucky adopts the smoke-free law, it would become the 25th state to institute such a ban.

New Jersey to Ban Smoking in All Its Parks and Beaches

Smoking in Parks

In case Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey, signs new anti-smoking bill into a law, the state would become first in the USA who banned smoking cigars, cigarettes and other tobacco products in all public beaches and parks.

Both houses of the New Jersey legislature showed their support for the initiative and approved the bill. Then the bill was passed to the Governor for the final approval.
The new law bans totally smoking inside all municipal, state and county parks and beaches. However, local authorities may themselves establish a special designated area for smoking which may be no more than 15% of total area.

The proposal to implement such a law belongs to Karen Blumenfeld, the executive director of Global Advisors on Smokefree Policy, and she says it is something absolutely new for the USA.

New Jersey would become the first state in the country who agopted law banning smoking in all parks and beaches. New Jersey would become a perfect example for other states who consider extending their anti-smoking policies.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that in the USA smoking is the cause of a number of preventable diseases and the secondhand smoke is connected to asthma. Supporters of the new smoking ban say that people will certainly enjoy walking in smoke-free parks as they will be protected from the effects of tobacco smoke on their bodies. On the beach people will enjoy resting under the sun and breathing fresh marine air without tobacco.

Blumenfeld said in the state the initiative is supported with the majority. However, the opposer consider it breaks their personal freedoms. For example, smoker Adam says that he respects the environment and people around him and. Other smokers say that outdoor spaces are the only places where the smoking still is allowed and it would never do to ban it here.

New Jersey has most severe anti-smoking laws in the USA. It is the state who first banned smoking on college campus in 2005, and in 2006 in bars and restaurants. Recently the state increased tobacco buying age.