San Luis, Colorado, will be the first city in Yuma County to have a smoking ban at a public park. The initiative came from a youth anti-tobacco group that proposed the City Council to adopt the law.
Thus Moctezuma Park will become a smoke-free public place. The ban will come into action 30 days after the council’s approval of an ordinance that imposes the ban.
The smoking ban will be applied only to Moctezuma Park. However, Gerardo Sanchez, city mayor, told that the ban could be extended to all city parks. Southwest Youth Coalition Against Tobacco supports the initiative.
Sanchez says that the first step towards a smoke-free environment was to start with just one park and then step by step extend the ban to other public parks.
In the Moctezuma Park there will be placed special signs saying that smoking cigarettes is prohibited. Now the ordinance does not impose fines for those who violate it, but Sanchez told that the council can adopt penalties in the future if necessary.
Recently the Moctezuma Park had undergone renovations which included two outdoor tracks, one for remote-controlled car races and one for BMX bicycle racing. It should be said that four years ago youth coalition started its campaign of promoting smoking ban in all parks and other outdoor public facilities administered by the city.
Ivan Gutierrez, coordinator of the coalition made up of about 15 teens from San Luis, considers that everyone in the city will benefit from smoking ban in the park. The coalition launched its campaign to attract people’s attention on effects of seconshand smoke and prevent littering at city parks.
In summer 2013 members of the coalition gathered a great amount of cigarette butts in parks and showed the council their work.
A survey showed that 82% of people support the smoking ban.