Two Atlanta City Councilmembers want the city to follow in the footsteps of Decatur, Marietta, and Alpharetta and put the kibosh on smoking in public parks and recreational areas within the city limits.
"We've already looked at the fact that second-hand smoke is just as much a killer, if not more, than people literally smoking," Atlanta City Councilwoman Joyce Sheperd told CL. "We have to regulate it, especially if it's going to have an impact on people's health and lives. If you're driving drunk you can hurt someone. If you're smoking, there's a great possibility you can cause someone else to have cancer from second-hand smoke. It's a health issue."
If the legislation proposed (PDF) by Councilmembers Alex Wan and Joyce Sheperd is approved, it would be unlawful to inhale, exhale, or carry a lighted cigarette, cigar, or pipe in basically every public recreational area one could imagine within the city limits: outdoor parks, recreational facilities, athletic fields, aquatic centers, golf courses, tennis courses, such hiking/walking/biking trails as the Beltline, playgrounds, dog parks, and "spectator and concession areas."
Sheperd says she was a little apprehensive when she first discussed the issue last year with Parks Commissioner George Dusenbury. But she's become more determined to push the legislation after seeing how much people smoke in public parks, particularly during festivals and special events. Her constituents have also complained about people lighting up in public greenspaces. Residents near Emma Millican Park in southwest Atlanta have told her that students from Atlanta Technical College, which prohibits smoking on campus, who walk to the nearby greenspace to puff.
The ban would not apply to dip and chew tobacco, which means amateur baseball players can continue to dot the city's diamonds with tiny puddles of coffee-colored spit. Sheperd says she's more concerned about second-hand smoke, which affects other people.
"The impact of people smoking, you can inhale that," she says. "Can I inhale snuff? Chewing tobacco? The health impact [of that] on me is nothing compared to smoking."
The councilwoman considers the proposal "the beginning of a conversation" and expects some pushback and policy discussions to come up during the legislative vetting. (For example, what happens during festivals? Or large events, such as Music Midtown, that are held in public parks?) But she says the negative health effects of second-hand smoke in public parks "warrants a conversation."
"It might be something that may not pass right away," Sheperd says. "I'm interested in seeing who's going to come up and step up to the plate for or against it."
Council's Community Development and Human Resources Committee, which Sheperd chairs, will discuss the legislation at its next meeting on July 10.
The more revenue the stadium generates, them more tax revenue the state generates, since they…
you're crazy and your only saving grace is that your craziness prevents you from recognizing…
*****UNHIJACKED THREAD POST REVITALIZER****************
Pretty good recent vid, climate change hoax intermixed:
ok this my limit, i will be dragged no deeper.
have fun jerking yourself…
@ Plain Talk
The State owns it and gets all the rent, even though it…
"Last month, Loring Heights Neighborhood Association president Jeremy Faughtenberry said that Stoddard's representatives approached the…