King County Council moves to ban smoking in parks

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by RUSS WALKER / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on July 9, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 9 at 10:40 PM

The King County Council voted Monday afternoon to ban smoking from high-use areas in county parks.

In a 6-1 vote, the council approved a measure that would bar the use of any tobacco products, including chewing tobacco, from “areas of parks and recreation facilities where people congregate ... [including] athletic fields, off-leash dog parks, parking lots, picnic shelters, playgrounds, sports courts, trailheads, and any other areas designated as high-use areas by the director.”

Use of electronic cigarettes would not be banned.

The measure also directs the parks department to prepare a pilot public education campaign about the forest fire threat posed by improper disposal of cigarettes. This program would include posting public education signs and the placement of disposal receptacles at park sites.

“I am all for it,” Lauri (cq) Deaton-Grein said while walking her dog Duke at Marymoor Park. “I have asthma, I go to a park to enjoy myself. The last thing I need is someone to walk past me smoking that will send me into an asthma attack.”

The lone vote against the measure was cast by Councilmember Reagan Dunn, a Republican candidate for Washington Attorney General this fall.

The tobacco ban would take effect 10 days after being signed by County Executive Dow Constantine. Constantine is on record supporting the measure.

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