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Council to mull smoking ban in Raleigh parks

Posted January 21, 2009
Updated November 24, 2010

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— There is a renewed push to snuff out smoking in Raleigh city parks. A proposed smoking ban will be up for discussion when the City Council meets Thursday.

“We do play in the park occasionally,” smoking-ban supporter Brandon King said.

King and his family live across the street from a Raleigh greenway. He says he is in favor of a smoking ban in public parks, particularly near playgrounds.

“Parents are there with their children to play and have a good time. Smoking drifts on certain days and in certain areas. So, in those particular areas, I think it should be banned,” King said.

Raleigh to reconsider putting 'No Smoking' signs in parks Raleigh to reconsider putting 'No Smoking' signs in parks

In mid-March, the Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Greenway Advisory Board recommended that council members impose a smoking ban to cut down on secondhand smoke and litter.

Instead, the council voted to allow park managers who notice a problem with smoking and cigarette butts to request help from the city. The help would come in the form of trash receptacles for cigarette butts and signs urging people not to smoke.

Council members now plan to reconsider asking state legislators to change the law and allow them to enact a ban. A North Carolina law – passed 10 years ago – requires that the General Assembly grant approval for any smoking ban before a municipality can impose one.

“Whether it made sense 10 years ago, it doesn't make sense today,” Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker said.

Meeker says times have changed because of the steady decline of the tobacco industry in North Carolina.

“Back then, the state had a number of cigarette manufacturers, and tobacco was grown here. Now, one of the manufacturers has closed, and most tobacco is grown overseas, so it's time to take another look at it,” Meeker said.

However, not allowing people to light up in an open area – such as a public park – could be a tough sell in a state where tobacco used to be king.

Ericka Dean works for a Raleigh restaurant that still allows smoking at certain times of the day. She says she is against smoking bans.

“They shouldn't limit where we can smoke outside. I don't think it's fair,” Dean said.

The Raleigh City Council is scheduled to meet Thursday at 1 p.m. and the General Assembly convenes next Wednesday.

121 Comments

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  • sandhillsk9 Jan 22, 2009

    if all smokers quitt tomorrow .. one week later you can kiss any bailout goodby, because of the lost tax income for state and feds.. non smoker say welcome to the next tax hike ...

  • DRA Jan 22, 2009

    If smoking a cigarette, please tell me why people WHO DO NOT SMOKE continue to go to place where there is smoking? so they will have somthing to complain about you know some people are cronic complainers if they dont like or agree with somthing it should be illegal or banned etc i laugh at some of the non smokers post on here its like they are the only ones that matter.

  • oldcorp Jan 22, 2009

    It has been my observation that smokers have had an abundance of rights that I, as a non-addict was not allowed. When I worked in a busy office environment, it considered pefectly acceptable for the smokers and friend or two or three to convene outside to participate in their addiction while the rest of us toiled on. It was never questioned. Strange, all I got was a meal break.

  • PirateHeist Jan 22, 2009

    It's funny that smokers are trying to say that this is a ban against smokers. You are trying to tell me you can't go for an hour (not that any of people in that class would be in a park that long anyways) without a cigarette? That is just sad. At least I have faith in Karma, smokers will reap what they sow by forcing others to endure second hand smoke when they get cancer/emphysema etc.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jan 22, 2009

    I see a lot of complaints but no answers to my question. That figures.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jan 22, 2009

    ONLY SMOKERS HAVE THAT RIGHT. YOU KNEW THAT. :)
    Dr. Dataclerk

    Correction: ONLY NON-SMOKERS HAVE THAT RIGHT! :)

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jan 22, 2009

    I am interested to know what are cigarette smoking people rights?

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jan 22, 2009

    And why do smokers have more rights than those who don't????????
    nod2004

    WRONG. SMOKERS DO NOT HAVE RIGHTS ANYMORE. ONLY SMOKERS HAVE THAT RIGHT. YOU KNEW THAT. :)

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jan 22, 2009

    But even if you have never smoked, been around smoking people, you still one day will get sick and die of something. You was not put on this earth to live forever. Think about how fresh the air outside really is. It is not coming from all cigarette smoking or tobacco products, either. Next complaint? lol

  • me2you Jan 22, 2009

    Dr. Data,
    that's because it's everywhere. And why do smokers have more rights than those who don't????????

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