Seattle commissioners fighting to ban smoking in parks

Mar 19, 2015, 9:50 AM | Updated: 10:36 am
A proposed rule would make it illegal to smoke within all public areas under Seattle parks' jurisdiction. (AP)
(AP)

Seattle park commissioners want to ban smoking in all public parks in the city.

The proposed rule would make it illegal to smoke within all public areas under the city’s parks’ jurisdiction. The rule would not become part of the Seattle Municipal Code.

A public hearing on the rule will be held at 6:30 p.m. on April 16.

“We are asking the Board of Park Commissioners to consider this issue because smoking is incongruous with our values of healthy parks and healthy people,” said acting superintendent Christopher Williams. “Visitors come to parks to enjoy healthful, outdoor recreation. When there are smokers in a park, it diminishes others’ ability to do that.”

If the rule is passed, anyone violating it would receive a warning. Repeated violations would result in park exclusion.

The proposed rule would extend the original smoking bans put in place in 2010, which banned tobacco use within 25 feet of other park visitors in play areas, beaches, or playgrounds.

Following the public hearing on April 16, the Park Board will deliberate on the issue at its regular meeting on May 14, and make a recommendation to the superintendent. The superintendent will take the board’s recommendation into consideration, and issue a final ruling in mid- to late May.

Health and litter issues prompted the proposed rule.

“There’s no safe level of secondhand smoke,” said Matt DeGooyer, executive director of the American Lung Association in Washington. “We are very excited to see Seattle Parks and Recreation taking this step.

“Actions like this continue the steady progress toward de-normalizing smoking and tobacco use, making outdoor spaces a safer environment for impressionable youth and anyone who enjoys breathing clean, healthy air.”

In addition to being unhealthy for people, discarded cigarette butts are a major source of park litter, according to the city.

“Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world, with an estimated 5 trillion discarded each year,” said Brice Boland, Washington State field manager for the Surfrider Foundation. “Cigarette butts were the number one item found on Washington beaches during the 2013 International Coastal Cleanup.”

Seattle Parks and Recreation would follow the lead set by many other major U.S. cities, including Portland, which passed a smoking ban in parks in February 2015. Other major cities that ban smoking in parks include New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

Local News

stolen school bus...
MyNorthwest Staff

Man arrested in Seattle after stealing empty school bus, ramming vehicles

Seattle police arrested a man in the Central District on Tuesday after he stole an empty school bus and rammed it into other vehicles.
14 hours ago
covid pill, vaccines, vaccination...
Kathryn Altena

Seattle to open new COVID vaccination clinic in West Seattle

The City of Seattle will be opening a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Neighborhood House in the High Point neighborhood, in West Seattle.
14 hours ago
Lorena Gonzalez...
MyNorthwest Staff

Lorena Gonzalez removes campaign ad labeled ‘racial stereotype’ by opponent

Seattle mayoral candidate Lorena Gonzalez apologizes for a campaign advertisement criticized by Black civic leaders for perpetuating racial stereotypes
14 hours ago
Renton couple, wildfire...
Heather Bosch

Renton couple recounts unimaginable loss, road to recovery following escape from 2020 wildfire

A Renton couple who suffered unimaginable loss during an Eastern Washington wildfire in September of 2020 continues to recover.
14 hours ago
Lawsuit chicken manufacturers...
Nick Bowman

Washington AG files lawsuit over ‘sweeping conspiracy’ involving chicken manufacturers

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Tuesday that his office has filed a lawsuit against 19 major chicken manufacturers. 
14 hours ago
Election Day, King County ballots...
Nick Bowman

One week to Election Day as Seattle, King County ballots begin flowing in

Election Day is just a week away, with King County reporting that just over 9% of ballots have been returned as of Monday evening. 
14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Seattle commissioners fighting to ban smoking in parks