Tag Archives: Smoking Ban

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.

Smoking Ban in Rock Hill Parks Failed

Smoker in Park

Smokers in Rock Hill city, South Carolina, are delighted that smoking will be allowed in city parks, because City Council rejected proposed smoking ban on Monday.

Totally there are 21 parks and recreation zones in Rock Hill city and the Council was discussing better ways to regulate tobacco use in public places of the city. When came time for voting, 3 council members supported smoking ban in parks while other 3 opposed. As a result, the final decision was not taken and the proposal was sent to further considerations.

The final approval needs the support of majority of City Council, therefore things remain the same and smokers may still light up inRock Hill parks.

Jim Reno, Kathy Pender,  Mayor Doug Echols are those who showed their support for the ban and they welcomed the staff proposals regaring the outdoors ban including the ideas of creating designated areas for smoking. Echols told that they want to make the city smoke-free for everyone and smoking should not be allowed in parks.

Kevin Sutton, John Black, Ann Williamson opposed the ban and voted against it, saying that this measure is too restrictive. Sutton dislikes tobacco smoke, but says that there is enough space in parks for both smokers and non-smokers. The ban goes to extrimes when imposes that policemen should partol trails, she added. The idea to ban smoking on Novant Health BMX Supercross Track and Giordana Velodrome seems a non-sense as smokers would have to walk a mile to light up.

The proposal to prohibit smoking in parks comes from parks and recreation commission. Bev Carroll, the representative of the comission, says that the ban is needed to prevent fires in wooded areas, protect kids from secondhand smoke and reduce litter in parks. Such a bans already are adopted in cities of  Clover and  Charlotte.

According to  Echols, the proposal may be put on agenda in the nearest future in case Council members ask him for that.

Fort Collins to Vote in February New Smoking Ban


In 2014 the state of Colorado became famous in the USA due to legalization of recreational Marijuana use. However, not all smokers will be happy soon.

As Coloradoan writes, the city of Fort Collins is going to vote on an ordinance that could expand the existing smoking ban and it will include a number of different public venues.

In fact, smoking ban laws are not a novelty in the USA. They are becoming very popular in different parts across the country and the trend is still growing. In past smoking was not appreciated by kings and churches and users of tobacco were punished in different ways.

It should be said that namely in a city of Colorado was introduced for the first time a law banning smoking in bars and restaurants. The city of Aspen is regulating tobacco use but did not introduce a total smoking ban and businesses are permitted to have a smoking section.

However, data shows that by 2014 a great number of businesses prohibited smoking in their establishments. Many of them did it on voluntary basis.

Amid the widespread call for Marijuana legalization, the use of tobacco is being reduced. Tobacco becomes unacceptable by the society. Nowadays people do not want to be exposed to secondhand smoke anymore, and even young people support the anti-smoking trend. Over the past years hundreds of American colleges and Universities banned smoking on their campus.

The proposed smoking ban in Fort Collins prohibits use of tobacco in bars, restaurants, motels, hotels and indoor businesses. The final vote will take place on February 5 and up to this date everyone is free to express his opinion on the proposal in a survey found on city’s official website.

In 2014 Fort Collins took an important decision to regulate e-cigarettes just like regular cigarettes.

Cleburne Mayor Asks on Facebook About Smoking Ban


Scott Cain, the Mayor of Cleburne city in Texas, uses Facebook in order to find out  city residents’ opinions on the prohibiting smoking in public places.

There is no anti-smoking ordinance in action in Cleburne, and the Mayor came with a proposal to consider one. Thus he addressed city residents the next question on his page on Facebook: “Should Cleburne ban smoking in all public places? What do you think?”

In short time he received hundreds of answers, and most of which were simple “Yes!”. However, there were users who disliked the proposal. Jeff Dugger wrote: “Smoking is disgusting but not nearly so as an overreaching government.”

Cain says that smoking ban is a serious issue and it is absolutely normal thing that some disagree with it. Here the talk is about human rights, and it is very important to take into consideration all opinions. On one side are people who do not want to be exposed to secondhand smoke and on the other side are smokers who have the right to use cigarettes.

According to Cain, they do not try to limit rights of smokers in Cleburne city, they just want to balance the rights of all of their citizens.

On January 13 there will take place Council meeting during which councilmen are going to discuss the smoking ban proposal. Residents are welcome to express their opinions on the meetings and on Facebook.

Cain told he examined similar ordinances in Texas and wants to apply to the  Cleburne city the example of North Richland Hills which banned smoking in most public buildings such as stores, restaurants and offices, but allows smoking in bars, outdoor dining patios  and private clubs. Mayor considers that smoking should be permitted in establishments where visitors normally consume alcohol.

City Council in Gadsden, AL, Reconsidering Smoking Ban


In June 2014, authorities in the city of Gadsden, Alabama, passed an ordinance which prohibits smoking in all enclosed working spaces. Now the city council consider to make some ajustments to the ordinance.

Councilman Ben Reed participated in creating the initial version of the ordinance. He says that new council members want more time to study all details in the ordinance.

The Council passed it back in June 2014 and it was planned to be implemented in January, the next year. New councilors entered the board in November and they told they need more time to become familiar with the ordinance. Also they told that probably there will be a need to make some modifications in it.

Most controversies raises the point about the distance that workers must respect in order to comply with the ordinance. It demands smokers to light up at the distance of 20-foot from any public entrance to a business. As to smokers, they do not support the ordinance as they dislike the idea to searching for a place to smoke during a break. Smoker Jeff considers that there are a lot of things more important than banning smoking in bars and restaurants.

However, the ordinance supporters claim that here the talk is about protecting workers and visitors from secondhand smoke exposure.

The ordinance writes that cigar bars are an exemption. It estalishes smoke-free boundaries outside the entrances to public buildings, and around bleachers at public and sports events and outdoor public transportation stations.

Smoking Ban in Beijing

Chinese Smoker

Authorities in Beijing, the capital of China, want to introduce a smoking ban in all indoor public spaces, thus smokers will have to seek other places to light up.

Also cigarettes will be banned from advertising in magazines, movies, newspapers and public transport.

Data shows that today in China there are around 300 million smokers.

In past years the country tried to fight with smoking but all its attempts failed.

The new anti-smoking policy comes into effect in June 2015 and at the beginning it will touch only Beijing.

The authorities say that with time the change will cover the entire country.

The proposed anti-smoking law prohibits smoking on the bus stops, at workplace and near hospitals and schools.

Experts say that the measure will help to reduce smoking rates in the country and prevent people from smoking related diseases.

Previous bans were ignored by the population and smokers often were seen with their cigarettes right behind no-smoking signs. In 2011 China prohibited smoking in hotelsand restaurants but it did not work.

However, now authorities promise the ban will work due to introduction of fines.

Ypsilanti Bans Smoking at Three Children’s Playgrounds

Playground for Kids

City Council in Ypsilanti, Michigan, last week approved an ordinance that would prohibit smoking at all three children’s playgrounds in the city.

According to Bob Krzewinski of the Ypsilanti Parks and Recreation Commission, they have no intention to make this policy a priority and no one will be sitting out there and writing tickets. The main goal of the policy is to discourage people from smoking in parks as it may affect non-smoking visitors and their kids. Today many people are aware about secondhand smoke effects and they do not want to be exposed to it.

Also  Krzewinski told that it is very important to prohibit smoking in parks because it will help to reduce litter in parks. Cigarette butts are hazardous for the environment as they need hundreds of years to be dossolved.

Krzewinski propsed to ban smoking in all Ypsilanti parks, but Council members told it is too early to talk about such initiative. However, he was glad that his idea to ban smoking at children’s playgrounds found support. He believes that soon the ban will be extended to all city parks.

During the public hearing no one expressed his opinion on the proposed ordinance to the city charter. Only DeBorah Borden from the Washtenaw County Tobacco Use Prevention Program spoke during one of previous public hearings.  Thus he told that it is very important for the city to adopt a smoke-free ordinance banning smoking at playgrounds as it will be the first step towards promotion of a healthy lifestyle and clean environment.

Allegheny County Housing Authority Bans Smoking at Five Units


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.