Government Law

Should smoking in public parks be banned?

Broward County, Fla., may join the growing rank of areas which prohibit smoking in public parks, CBS Miami reports.

According to Forbes, more than 843 U.S. parks currently ban smoking. New York City has such a ban, and one is being considered in Boston, the Associated Press reports.

Currently, the Broward County parks have signage that asks asks people to not smoke where children gather. The rules are based on dangers from second-hand cigarette smoke, Sue Gunzburger, a county commissioner, told CBS Miami.

Dale V.C. Holness, another Broward County commissioner, expressed concern about the potential rule. “I support this idea, but in parks such as Central Broward Regional Park, there is a capacity to hold up to twenty-thousand people for outdoor events,” he said. “What would be the effect?”

In Boston, the commissioner of the Parks and Recreation Department told The Boston Globe, many other locations, like restaurants, hospitals and schools have already banned smoking on their premises. So an increasing number of cigarette butts are being discarded in parks, and picked up by her staff. ‘‘It’s the unintended consequences that smokers are migrating to the parks,’’ she said.

But a local Bostonian the Globe found smoking in a park said he doesn’t agree with the proposed ban. ‘‘Who gives them the right to tell us what to do when we’re outside like this?’’ said Gilbert Farley. ‘‘The wind blows the smoke away. It shouldn’t bother anyone.’’

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