Edgeville Buzz

Smoking Bans Expand To Chicago Parks And Harbors

NoSmokingFollowing the lead of such cities as New York and Boston, Chicago now will permanently place smoking bans in city parks and harbors. The Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners unanimously voted Wednesday, Sept. 11 to the measure that takes place immediately. Previously,  it was only banned at playgrounds, beaches and Park District buildings, but now anti-smoking advocates will see it greatly expand its coverage. This will include any type of smoking including cigarettes, pipes, e-cigarettes and marijuana.

The measure is aimed at the reducing second hand smoke issues and to decrease the amount of litter created by butts discarded by smokers. It also sets a strong message to children as to the risks and problems associated with smoking by taking it out of an environment that is regularly frequented by young people.

However, for the ban to work, signage must be put up in these areas. The American Lung Association recently visited ten Chicago parks and found only one of them properly displaying signs about the ban currently in place around beaches and playgrounds. The ALA feels that seeking out additional help to display proper signage from local anti-smoking groups is crucial.

The fine for a person who refuses to put out a cigarette will be $500. Currently, no such fines have occurred since the original 2007 law was set in place. This strongly questions wether the ban will be properly enforced.

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