Proposed Smoking Ban At Fort Smith Parks Approved By Panel

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) — The Fort Smith Parks Commission voted unanimously Wednesday (Feb. 8) to ban smoking and smokeless tobacco products in city parks.

The proposed ordinance was put together after Fort Smith Parks Director Doug Reinert said he received several complaints of cigarette butts located on playgrounds and ash stains on city equipment.

The proposed ordinance will have to go before the Fort Smith Board of Directors for discussion before it could go into effect.

Secondhand smoke for children was also a concern raised by the commission at the meeting.

“It can tend to be controversial and it’s not,” Reinert said. “What the conversation is about is leading by example and promoting health and protecting our children and citizens of Fort Smith,” he added.

The commission discussed adding designated smoking areas to the parks. While some were not opposed to the idea, others believed it would cost too much money to block off the designated areas.

The only exception to the proposed ban would be at public events happening at parks where people typically smoke, such as music festivals. Smoking areas with receptacles would be allowed at these events.

The ordinance draft states that anyone caught violating the smoking ban would be fined a minimum of $25 for a first offense, and as much as $250 if violations continue.