Local News

Raleigh bans smoking in city parks

Posted February 1, 2011 3:19 p.m. EST
Updated February 1, 2011 5:47 p.m. EST

— The Raleigh City Council voted 6-2 Tuesday to ban smoking in many public places in the city.

The new ordinance doesn't completely outlaw tobacco in city parks, on greenways and at city-owned venues; it only prevents people from lighting up. It also lets people smoke in city parking lots and anywhere in Nash Square and Moore Square downtown.

Receptacles for cigarette butts and "No Smoking" signs will be placed in parks and other venues.

More than three-fifths of people responding to a city survey said limits should be placed on smoking in city parks and greenways, officials said.

Councilmen John Odom and Thomas Crowder voted against the ordinance, which takes effect in July.

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.

"(The ban) will significantly reduce exposure to second-hand smoke for all park visitors," Laura Aiken, executive director of Advocates for Health in Action, said in a statement. "This change will also have the secondary benefits of reducing litter."