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Patch Poll: What's Your Take on the City Parks Smoking Ban?

Atlanta City Council votes to ban smoking in public parks.

The Atlanta City Council approved an ordinance Monday that bans smoking in city parks.

The measure's co-sponsors, Councilman Alex Wan and Councilwoman Joyce M. Sheperd, said they want to reduce park patrons' exposure to secondhand smoke.

"I think it’s reasonable to ask our park visitors to abstain from smoking to protect the health of everyone who enjoys our public parks," said Wan, who represents District 6, which includes Candler Park.

"It’s been proven that there’s no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. It causes numerous health problems including severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections and other ailments.”

Under the measure, violators of the ordinance, which awaits Mayor Kasim Reed's signature, face fines of up to $1,000.

Specifically, it bans smoking in outdoor parks and recreational facilities including but not limited to:

  • parks
  • athletic fields
  • aquatic areas
  • golf courses
  • tennis courts
  • hiking/walking/biking trails
  • playgrounds
  • off-leash areas
  • spectator and concession areas.

The legislation exempts these city-owned proprerties since they are under lease agreements with private vendors: the Chastain Amphitheater, Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood, the Park Tavern Restaurant in Piedmont Park and designated smoking areas at golf club amenities.

Atlanta joins a number metro area jurisdictions including Alpharetta, Douglasville and Clayton County that ban smoking in public parks.

The People's Republic of Decatur bans smoking during City of Decatur events and activities as an administrative rule of the Active Living Department. Though it doesn't have an all-out ban, it's an issue several commissionrers have expressed an interest in adopting.

What do you think of the new legislation? Good idea or not?

john davidson July 17, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Heres a time line starting in 1900,dont be surprised to see the same thing playing out today nearly 100 years later. 1901: REGULATION: Strong anti-cigarette activity in 43 of the 45 states. "Only Wyoming and Louisiana had paid no attention to the cigarette controversy, while the other forty-three states either already had anti-cigarette laws on the books or were considering new or tougher anti-cigarette laws, or were the scenes of heavy anti- cigarette activity" (Dillow, 1981:10). 1904: New York: A judge sends a woman is sent to jail for 30 days for smoking in front of her children. 1904: New York City. A woman is arrested for smoking a cigarette in an automobile. "You can't do that on Fifth Avenue," the arresting officer says. 1907: Business owners are refusing to hire smokers. On August 8, the New York Times writes: "Business ... is doing what all the anti-cigarette specialists could not do." 1917: SMOKEFREE: Tobacco control laws have fallen, including smoking bans in numerous cities, and the states of Arkansas, Iowa, Idaho and Tennessee. 1937: hitler institutes laws against smoking.
john davidson July 17, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Scientific Evidence Shows Secondhand Smoke Is No Danger Written By: Jerome Arnett, Jr., M.D. Published In: Environment & Climate News Publication Date: July 1, 2008 Publisher: http://www.heartland .org/policybot/resul ts/23399/Scientific_ Evidence_Sho... myth-of-second-hand- smoke http://yourdoctorsor ders.com/2009/01/the -myth-of-second-hand -smoke BS Alert: The 'third-hand smoke' hoax http://www.examiner.com/public-policy-in-louisville/bs-alert-the-third-hand-smoke-hoax The thirdhand smoke scam http://velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.com/2010/02/thirdhand-smoke-scam.html Heart attacks Frauds and Myths.. http://www.spiked-on line.com/index.php/s ite/article/7451/
Nubs July 18, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Next thing you know vegans will force a law against cooking meat in public. I am not a smoker but this is ridiculous...
Dana July 19, 2012 at 04:30 PM
I don't like breathing tobacco-tainted air. I agree with your first option "Smokers infringe on everyone else's rights ... to be healthy and breathe clean air." However, I do not feel that our tax-payer resources should be used to enforce a no smoking ban.
edie chase August 30, 2012 at 12:31 AM
I'm with you Dana

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