City to Move to Ban Smoking Everywhere in City Parks

San Antonio City Council will consider a recommendation from the City's Parks and Recreation Department to ban cigarette smoking everywhere in all city parks, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Alejandro Soto lives near Woodlawn Lake Park, and he says smoking and the healthy recreation done in parks just don't mix.

"One person lights up a cigarette, and now everybody is smelling it," he said.  "And what happens when they are done with the cigarette?  It's on the ground."

The city's smoking policy in parks today is a hodge-podge.  Smoking is prohibited in many park pavilions, along the parade routes of Fiesta Parades, for example, but not in the parks themselves.

Soto says there is no place in parks for smoking.

"If you walk along our parks and look, you'll find cigarette butts.  They're hard to pick up, they're unhealthy, they're ugly."

Councilwoman Ana Sandoval, who represents Woodlawn Lake, agrees.

“In a public park, everyone is a role model in the eyes of children. We want children and families to enjoy our City’s parks without learning unhealthy behavior or inhaling harmful smoke—especially as their lungs develop. By moving forward and making our parks tobacco-free, we ensure they remain welcoming and clean spaces," she said.

This is not a radical proposal.  Some fifty Texas cities now ban smoking in all public parks.

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