Atlanta City Council Seeks to Ban Smoking in Public Parks
Wednesday, July 11, 2012 8:00 PM
July 12, 2012 - The Atlanta City Council will receive an ordinance to ban smoking in Atlanta public parks as soon as next week. If Mayor Kasim Reed approves it, it will go into effect immediately and ban smoking in walking trails, golf courses, aquatic areas, tennis courts and athletic fields.
The ordinance was approved on Tuesday, July 11 by a city council committee in a four-to-one vote.
Bill Spann, CEO of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association, said: "This is another attempt by the government to take away individual rights. As adults we should be allowed to enjoy a legal product. If the council's true aim is to reduce littering in parks as they say, then the simple solution is to provide more ashtrays and trashcans, not to infringe on our liberties by banning legal products."
Some public parks will be exempt from this smoking ban. Two amphitheaters and a tavern will be excluded.
In Norcross, GA the city council recently repealed its smoking ban after outcry from citizens. According to councilman Ross Kaul, who originally proposed the outdoor ban, it "went from being a 'quality of life' issue to an 'intrusion by government' issue."
If enacted, fines for smoking in a public park could reach up to $1,000.