Sunnyvale Bans Smoking in Parks, Town Facilities

Town's smoking ban includes cars parked in parking lots of town facilities, parks

By Tammy Mutasa
|  Tuesday, Aug 7, 2012  |  Updated 7:10 PM CDT
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Sunnyvale has voted to ban smoking at the town's parks and other facilities.

Tammy Mutasa, Sunnyvale Reporter

Sunnyvale has voted to ban smoking at the town's parks and other facilities.

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After much debate, Sunnyvale is taking its smoking ban to the next level by banning smoking in all park spaces and town facilities.

The Town Council voted 3-2 to ban smoking in all parks and town property such as City Hall and the library -- including in vehicles in the parking lots of those facilities.

"It is certainly a health issue, and we have folks who want to come to the park and enjoy the park without having to deal with the issues of secondhand smoke," Town Manager Scott Campbell said.

The Town Council agreed on a ban on park properties, but the question came down to whether or not residents would be allowed to smoke in their cars while parked at parks and town facilities.

"How would we enforce that? It was really about being too difficult to enforce if we did it any other way," Campbell said.

Christopher Wand, a smoker, said the ordinance goes too far.

"Around here, I think like a 50 foot away from an entrance or that would be OK to limit, but in my own vehicle or on my own property -- that a little too harsh," he said. "It's taking control of something that I should be in control off."

But Kellie Nelson said she welcomes the smoking ban.

"The smoking has gotten really really bad lately," she said. "They'll be smoking all kinds of weird things, and the smell drifts into play area where all the kids are playing, and I have asthma and I don't want to be around that."

The Town Council will light up more debate as it looks at a possible smoke ban in other public areas, such as restaurants. Officials are working on a survey to find out how people would feel about a smoking ban in all public areas.

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