Local News

Raleigh board to research costs associated with park smoking ban

Posted January 4, 2011

— The Parks, Recreation and Greenway Advisory Board will spend the next two weeks researching costs associated with the proposed ban on smoking in Raleigh parks.

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. 

Raleigh is considering a proposal that would ban smoking in city-owned outdoor areas, including parks and greenways. The ban would cover all tobacco products, including chewing tobacco and snuff.

Tracy Bennett, who takes her children to the park, is in favor of the ban.

‘It’s a bad example and it smells terrible,” she said.

Matt Lazarus, a non-smoker, said he doesn’t have a problem with smokers lighting up at the park.

“They can’t smoke anywhere else, they might as well be able to smoke in the parks, out in public,” he said.

The advisory board will be researching how much it would cost to put up signs and possible punishment for violating the ban. They will present their findings at the next council meeting on Jan. 18. 

"This is going to be an enforcement nightmare," Councilman Thomas Crowder said Monday. "I think we need to have all these facts on the table."

Raleigh researches costs of park smoking ban Raleigh researches costs of park smoking ban

Councilwoman Mary Ann Baldwin said she is worried about heavy-handed enforcement that "causes more problems than we solve."

Even after the information is presented to city leaders, some say they will still have a problem banning smoking in public parks.

"I'm a non-smoker and I wish nobody smoked to be honest with you, but the freedom to do as you want to do, we ought to allow that it happen," Councilman John Odom said. 


This story is closed for comments.

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  • jscletsplay1002002 Jan 5, 2011

    @ jdalenc28

    So going off of what you said, its due to the cigarrete buts on the gound? Well I see they place trash recpticles throughout the park to discourage people throwing trash onto the ground. Which they still do.
    They should supply cigarette butt recepticles in the parks(and the same with your example of Wrightsville beach) and I think that would curve the wrong disposal of cigarettes.
    A litterbug is a litterbug be it a cigarette or some fast food bag or some empty drink container.

  • jdalenc28 Jan 5, 2011

    Think this more to do with the buts smokers throw everywhere than 2nd hand smoke. They picked up over 8,000+ cigs this past summer on Wrightsville Beach in one month. I counted over 300 cigs on Wrighstville in a 100 yard stretch myself. Smokers care little about their own health so why should they care about where the nasty used cigarette ends up. Piles and piles of cigarettes along streets and down storm drains. You see someone throw one out report them here:


  • jscletsplay1002002 Jan 5, 2011

    @ supernik87

    You eating fast food does effect me. I have to pay higher medical bills due to all the medical bills not paid by overweight,high blood pressure, heart diseased, people who are eating it. Same thing as smoking and their medical bils, but the fact is overwieght and bad eating habits cause more health issues than smoking, even of the first person smoker. Yes I give respect of smoking indoors where others may be bothered, or blowing it in your face outside.
    If you smoke outside, the ppm of smoke that a none smoker would recive is minute.

    I agree with deton8tor in the fact about automobile polution and exhaust. The ppm of polution and exhaust that you breath in from cars is way higher than cigarettes. Lets ban cars being ran in public, now thats silly, isnt it? so the ban on smoking outside in public places is just as silly.

    But, I also feel that everyone has thier vise, Leave mine alone and I will leave yours alone.

  • YourMom Jan 5, 2011

    Does anyone know WHO is proposing this?

  • u stand corrected Jan 5, 2011

    I do smoke, however I am polite with the habit. But this new idea for another law, let me know how it works out for you. You can die faster and easier from fumes from vehicles, factories, etc...
    The water you drink, how healthy is that?
    PS You better wear a mask while filling up your big SUVs... fumes???

  • andymc Jan 5, 2011

    They should just enforce the existing littering law, not add another law against smoking in the parks.

  • John Sawtooth Jan 5, 2011

    As a non-smoker, I don't mind someone smoking in a park. There is enough open space that it is not a nuisance or significant health risk. I do support extremely strict enforcement of littering penalties against slobs who toss burnt cigarette butts on the ground.

  • fatchanceimwrong Jan 5, 2011

    Let me guess what the cost will be...$1.4 million.

  • 27615 Jan 5, 2011

    It shouldn't cost anything but that's besides the point. I don't smoke and I don't mind if people smoke a parks or in public. If I don't like it I'll move away from the smoke! The government has too much control already we don't need to give them anymore!

  • MitziGaynor Jan 5, 2011

    I don't smoke, I hate being around smoke...but ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. As for cigarette remains being found...fine the people for littering. And if you think this is good, what will the government find next to ban? Maybe you won't be allowed to drive to a public park? Maybe using your gas grill or charcoal grill will be outlawed...even on your own property because someone found it "offensive". You keep giving the government the power to rule your personal life, you give them all YOUR RIGHTS. I find BO offensive, I move away from the person, I don't like cigarette smoke I MOVE AWAY FROM IT. Man, people get a grip and quit making government take care of all your peeves.