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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 Virginia-Highland and Morningside.

"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 the People's Republic of Decatur in banningsmoking in public parks.

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

Greg in the Highlands July 18, 2012 at 02:58 AM
If they want to ban it, it should also include the following: no perfumes or colognes (asthma attacks), no sodas (sticky walkways), keep the volume of music events within city codes (200 feet from the stage), limit the number of people allowed in the park at one time, and no liquor or wine sold any time (vomit everywhere during all events). That would make it a truly "family friendly" park.
Meinert July 19, 2012 at 11:40 AM
A ban on smoking outdoors is a bit ridiculous. However I would like to see littering fines assessed when smokers toss their butts on the ground. For some reason, smokers feel that any and all ground is their garbage receptacle.
Burton Martin July 19, 2012 at 02:41 PM
I support no smoking, I believe smokers should have to bath and wash their clothing before coming anywhere near a non smoker. They not only smell bad but have residual toxic chemicals emanating from their person.
Beth Wilkening July 22, 2012 at 12:40 AM
I support using deodarant. I believe people who don't use deodarant and those who eat garlic should have to bathe and wash their clothing before coming anywhere near a deodarant user. Theynot only smell bad but have residual toxic chemicals emanating from their person. ...
InTown Chicklet July 24, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Now, if they can only ban smoking for the L5P Halloween parade..... Seriously, I run in the park and take my children there. I keep my body healthy - - why do I need to breathe in unhealthy air from your poor choices? I totally support this, especially for large group festivals when the crowds are so big you can't miss a smoker's pollution. I just hope they actually DO fine people.

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