Local News

Raleigh could ban smoking in parks

Posted November 24, 2010
Updated January 4, 2011

— Raleigh might soon ban smoking in city-owned outdoor areas, including parks and greenways.

Shoshanna Surxner, a member of the Parks, Recreation, and Greenway Advisory Board, said that the ban will create cleaner air and cleaner parks.

"The main thing is the health of people and the enjoyment of parks. And they are more enjoyable without smoke," Surxner said.

The Raleigh city government tried to ban smoking in some parks three years ago, but lacked the legal authority to do so without approval from the General Assembly.

A new state law that banned smoking in indoor workplaces, though, allows local governments to ban smoking in public places.

Smoker Bob Brinka said that polite smoking in outdoor spaces should be the responsibility of smokers, not the government. He smoked downwind of other visitors at Shelley Lake Park in Raleigh Wednesday.

"There's no reason to – whether you want to call it subject or impose – my enjoyment of a cigar on anybody else," Brinka said.

Other visitors at Shelley Lake said they want the government to stamp out smoking.

"Yes, go for it. We're going to have a playground without smoking," said Regina Sanford, who brought her children to the park. "I'm totally for it, because I can't stand (smoking). It's a bad example, and it smells terrible."

The decision rests with the City Council, which will likely take up the proposal in January. The ban would cover all tobacco products, including chewing tobacco and snuff.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • independentvoter3 Nov 26, 2010

    It would be nice to not see those disgusting cigarette ends on the ground... not to mention... nice to not have to breathe in that nasty cigarette smoke. I'm all for it. Besides... every smoker I've ever watched likes to throw their cigarettes on the ground, out the car window... etc. You just better be glad I'm not a State Trooper, or any smoker I see throwing cigarettes on the ground would get the maximum ticket I could write.

  • shortcake53 Nov 25, 2010

    MT.Net, exactly, and that works both ways.

  • MT.Net Nov 25, 2010

    All this talk about smokers' rights is bunk. What about my right to breathe clean air? Is that somehow less important?

    Sorry, but a smoker's "rights" do not magically trump mine. Your rights end where mine begin.

  • Proud Black Constitutionalist Nov 25, 2010

    This offended me but at not time did I believe they would be asked to leave nor would I have ever thought I should be able to ask them to leave.


    I could give a hoot about you, it's the innocent young ones that I care about. I agree, I feel very uncomfortable when heteros are touchy and feely in public. Keep it for the privacy of your own home.

  • LovemyPirates Nov 25, 2010

    proud black conservative brother - the other evening, while walking in an area Mall, a heterosexual couple about 40 years of age were close to needing a hotel room (in case you need a translation - this means heavy making out). This offended me but at not time did I believe they would be asked to leave nor would I have ever thought I should be able to ask them to leave. I'm offended by those who judge others and assume they know whom should love whom and whom shouldn't love whom. Government out of our lives means getting out of our bedrooms - heterosexual or otherwise.

  • shortcake53 Nov 25, 2010

    h3, so I break my leg. So now I want allll steps in the city turned into ramps because I cant do steps. Me, me, me.... See where I'm going with this???

  • h3ardita11b4 Nov 25, 2010

    THANK GOODNESS! At the end of the day, public smoking is WRONG. Folks should smoke at home and in their cars with the windows CLOSED. I took my kid to the state fair and my kid couldn’t play the water games because some jerkk sat next to him smoking that poison. Smokers don't even care for the most part. There are times when I’m driving and the person in the car next to me decides to roll down their window while they’re smoking. It takes nothing for me to go off on someone that’s being blatantly inconsiderate. I hate to see babies being forced to breathe in that poison too from their smoking mothers or people who sit down next to them and light up in a park. A few times I have said excuse me don't you see that baby right there and you're gonna light that cigarette up like that? The mother didn't even say anything and would have let her baby breathe that smoke in! Smoking is definitely a problem and lawmakers need to do more about it. I should not have to dodge cigarette smoke e

  • shortcake53 Nov 25, 2010

    lyerly, why should someone else be punished just because YOU have a condition. So your saying YOUR rights trump everybody else?? If you have a condition its up to YOU to take the steps necessary to keep it under control, no one else has that responsibility.

  • wildcat Nov 25, 2010

    fatchance....read your comment and thought it was pretty funny. You want to ban everything. Sorry for your health, but have you considered living on Mars, the air there is great many aleins say. You should try it.

  • Proud Black Constitutionalist Nov 25, 2010

    If it's all about the smoke then, can somebody explain this: "including chewing tobacco and snuff."

    Smoke is just a smoke screen (no pun intended)