Local News

Raleigh council moving toward park smoking ban

Posted January 18, 2011 6:31 a.m. EST
Updated January 18, 2011 6:39 p.m. EST

— The Raleigh City Council voted 6-2 Tuesday to develop a smoking ordinance for most public places in the city.

Once crafted, the proposed ordinance will return to the council for a vote.

The council had been expected to discuss a ban on smoking in city parks. The city's Parks, Recreation and Greenway Advisory Board has worked in recent weeks address concerns about such a ban, including determining the cost of installing "No Smoking" signs and possible punishments for violating the ban.

Instead, the council asked City Attorney Tom McCormick to draft an ordinance that would apply only to smoking, not to other tobacco products. The law also would allow people to smoke in parking lots at city parks and venues and anywhere in Nash Square and Moore Square downtown.

Receptacles for cigarette butts and "No Smoking" signs would be placed in parks and other venues, under the proposal.

Councilmen John Odom and Thomas Crowder voted against the proposal.

Raleigh tried to ban smoking in some parks three years ago, but the city lacked the legal authority to do so at the time. A year-old state law that bans smoking in indoor workplaces now allows local governments to ban smoking in public places.