Starting from Monday it is illegal to use cigarettes and other tobacco products in public parks in Seattle, Washington. With that move the city joined a number of other large US cities who made their parks smoke-free.
Two months ago, on May, the officials from Seattle’s Parks and Recreation passed an ordinance prohibiting tobacco use in all of its 465 public parks. Previously it demanded smokers to keep a minimum distance of 25-feet from other visitors in any of city parks.
At the beginning of the current week, on the city’s official website there appeared information about new smoking ban and the authorities encouraged people to go to parks saying to go there smell flowers instead of tobacco smoke.
Across the USA totally more than 1,000 cities and communities adopted similar anti-smoking restrictions. The talk is about such large cities as Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Portland.
The major argument why the cities ban smoking in parks is the increasing awarness of people about effects of secondhand smoke. Another concern is cigarette litter on the ground in parks.
Jeff Duchin, Interim Health Officer for Public Health in Seattle and King County, said that diseases provoked by tobacco use in the USA may be prevented by promoting healthy lifestyle across the nation. Making public spaces tobacco-free healps greatly to achieve this aim.
The responsability for law enforcement is on police and rangers. In case of first offence the smoker will receive a verbal warning, the second offence would result in trespass warning, and the next offences may result in an arrest.
The smoking ban covers tobacco cigarettes. E-cigarettes are not included in it. .Use of marijuana is not allowed in public spaces.