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Champaign Park District Considers Smoking Ban At Public Parks

Updated: Tuesday, June 3 2014, 04:35 PM CDT
CHAMPAIGN -- Champaign
park officials say the idea of public parks going smoke free came from
the Champaign Urbana Public Health Department. There's no decision yet
but the proposal certainly has mixed reaction. 

They're established to promote healthy activities, fun, rest and wellness. So making parks smoke free appears ideal.  

the state, a lot of people have gone to smoke free parks, smoke free
beaches, smoke free playgrounds, smoke free special event areas, so
we're looking at all that ", says Joe DeLuce
, Exec. Dir. Champaign Park District.

smoker for 17 years, Maurice Taylor admits second hand smoke is
dangerous but says making public parks smoke free is going a little bit
too far.

do pay taxes and we do pay for our parks and things that go on in the
parks so I think if you're not smoking and blowing smoke in children's
face or throwing cigarette butts where children can pick them up, I
don’t think they should be prevented", says Taylor.


Smith, a Champaign resident says "even though...the smoke is in the
air, anybody could be passing by. It doesn’t matter if you're inside or

Emily Walker, a Champaign mom says, it's a matter of courtesy and she's unsure if courtesy should be enforced by law.


"I appreciate it when people,  even
in a public park outside, remove themselves from the immediate location
of other people to go smoke their cigarette", Walker says.

Even though they're quickly passing through, some joggers feel a smoking ban is a good thing.  

"When you're jogging your miles, you don’t wanna have to worry about the hassle  of running through smoke", says DJ BJ of Urbana,

The biggest challenge  for park leaders is  enforcement.

the police really have time to help stop people from smoking in parks?
That’s one issue, how do you enforce it? number two is…is there really a
major problem and we haven’t over the years had a lot of complaints
about people smoking in a park", DeLuce says.

Urbana, Rantoul and Mahomet officials are all talking about the idea.
Champaign park leaders say they will continue to study the issue.

Champaign Park District Considers Smoking Ban At Public Parks

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