City of Pascagoula Working on Proposal to Ban Smoking in Public Parks

Pascagoula officials are considering a ban on smoking in all public parks.
Today, News 25’s Kristen Durand tells us what frequent park visitors think about the proposal.
Precious Griffin often brings her family out to play at Pascagoula’s Beach Park and usually enjoys a cigarette while waiting. “As long as it’s not hurting anybody, no secondhand smoke or gets to anybody and goes up in the air, I don’t see why it’s a problem,” said Griffin.
But, if the city of Pascagoula moves forward with a proposal to ban smoking in public parks, she feels it might see fewer visitors. “A lot of people smoke and it’s going to keep them from being able to go out and enjoy themselves and have a cigarette afterwards, so I do not approve of it at all and I’m gonna puff on that,” Griffin said.
In 2013, the City Council passed an ordinance that bans smoking in most indoor public areas and within 20 feet of entrances to those facilities. And some support the idea of extending that ban to public parks out of concern for the children who play there.
Jahvae Bush, a park visitor, said, “A lot of times kids imitate what they see and we want to reduce that risk, so if kids see people smoking at a park where they often come, they’re more than likely to maybe pick up that habit one day.”
The ban is still in the proposal stage but officials say that city workers spend on average 10 hours a week cleaning up trash in city parks, including cigarette butts, so the ban could possibly help save tax dollars.
Pascagoula Public Relations Specialist Anne Pitre said, “Exposure to secondhand smoke isn’t the only issue that one faces when you’re exposed to tobacco products out there. Our maintenance crews spend time and taxpayer dollars picking up cigarette butts and product containers.”
A draft of the amendment will be presented at the City Council meeting on July 21st.

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