Atlanta City Council Bans Smoking in City Parks
Smoking in Atlanta Parks and other recreation areas could cost up to $1,000 in fines if approved by Mayor Reed.
The Atlanta City Council approved 11 - 1 on Monday an ordinance prohibiting smoking in city parks, meaning the legislation now goes to Mayor Kasim Reed for final approval.
Smoking in Atlanta parks and other recreation areas will be punishable with fines of up to $1,000, six months in jail or community service, the AJC reported. Penalties would be up to the discretion of judges.
In addition to parks, athletic fields, aquatic areas, golf courses, tennis courts, hiking/walking/biking trails, playgrounds, off-leash areas and spectator and concession areas are also included in the ban, according to the ordinance.
Signage will be installed in all city parks.
Exceptions are made for Chastain Park Amphitheatre, Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood, Park Tavern and the parts of Oakland Cemetery that are privately owned.
Those in favor of the ban site scientific and medical evidence that shows the dangers associated with second hand smoking. Those opposed to the ban, like Councilman Howard Shook of Buckhead, who represented the only "no" vote, told the AJC he is "concerned about turning our city code into a guide for preferred manners and lifestyle tips."
Atlanta is now one step closer to cities like Alpharetta, Decatur, Doraville, Douglasville, Duluth, Gainesville, Marietta and Roswell, which have all banned smoking in public parks. Clayton, Douglas, Forsyth and Henry counties also have adopted smoking bans.
In the 1990s, California became the first state to issue a smoking ban in restaurants. Now, as many as thirty-four states have cities that have some sort of smoking ban laws, according to notosmoke.com.
Do you agree or disagree with the ban on smoking in Atlanta city parks? Let your voice be heard in the comments below!