Norman Official Seeks City Park Smoking Ban

Monday, March 16th 2009, 7:16 am
By: News On 6

By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9 for News On 6

NORMAN, OK -- The smoking ban battle in Norman heats up again. Two years ago, the city banned lighting up in restaurants and public buildings. Now, a city councilor wants the ban extended to parks.

Norman council member Doug Cubberley said the city isn't doing enough to get the message out that smoking is bad for the public health, not just adults but especially for kids.

"Do you want your child to pick this stuff up? And it's a health risk for them also," Doug Cubberley said.

In a Norman park where children play, cigarette butts litter the ground. In two hours, volunteers picked up a large container filled with cigarettes and other garbage. That's why Doug Cubbereley has been pushing to snuff out smoking in city parks.

"It is a public health risk for children and adults, and it also sends the wrong message to children that it's OK to smoke," Doug Cubberley said.

Moms like Emily Stangl agree it's not acceptable.

"I can't believe people don't have the common sense to not smoke around children," Emily Stangl said.

Her family visits the park four times a week and she's all for putting a stop to it, particularly by the playgrounds.

"I don't want smoking around my children. Second hand smoke is just as bad as smoking yourself so I push it all the way," Stangl said.

Others said not being allowed to light up in an open area violates their rights.

"I'm outside from the kids in the playground. I should have the right to smoke because I don't think my smoke bothered these kids here, that's way too far for me," Gino Rosani said.

The park board will review the proposed ordinance before it moves forward to the Norman City Council.