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Tobacco Ban for Public Parks Approved

The first reading to ban to tobacco use in public parks was approved unanimously Monday night.

Want to light up a cigar after enjoying at show at the Sarasota Opera House or the Golden Apple Dinner Theater? If you plan on doing so in Five Points Park, you could soon receive a fine. 

During the first reading of the ordinance, city commissioners voted unanimously on Monday to ban tobacco use in all city parks and will look at specific city owned buildings as well. 

"From the beginning [the city] wanted this to apply city wide," city attorney Robert Fournier said. "The city wanted to look at this as a health measure."

While Fournier said there is a small concern that such a ban could be challenged in the courts, he thought as long as the ordinance is "rationally related to a legitimate government objective," such as health objective and to prevent littering, it should hold up to any challenge. 

An ordinance for each city building ban would have to be brought to the board in a separate ordinance.

"Unlike the parks, it’s not automatic," Fournier said. "You have to designate those facilities by a resolution."

While the main concern for supports of the ban is second-hand smoke, Fournier said he included all tobacco products in the ordinance because it is easier for the commission to remove something from an ordinance that to add to it. 

Any addition would require two public readings. 

The ban comes with by the city's Parks, Recreation and Environmental Protection Agency. 

The ban would not include city-owned properties with a private partnership, such as O'Leary's and Marina Jack. 

Several people spoke in both favor and opposition to the ban. Sarasota resident Jim Lampl threw up a bag of cigarette butts that he said he picked up that day at Five Points. 

"I pick up cigarette butts on almost a daily basis," Lampl said. 

Commissioner Shannon Snyder said the ban puts the city in line with other county entities that have banned tobacco use such as Sarasota Memorial Hospital, the Sheriff's Office and all Sarasota County Schools. 

"This ordinance does apply to all city parks, not one particular park," Snyder said in response to many commenters who said the ordinance was directed at the homeless at Five Points. "If New York can ban smoking in their public parks, I think Sarasota can catch up."

JohnE June 21, 2011 at 05:49 PM
Update Naples tried to get bill 211 passed to remove the states preemeption law on smoking.It was D.O.A. in comittee! yet the NAZIS are still pushing it! 2011 HB 211 Florida Clean Indoor Air Act Died in Health & Human Services Quality Subcommittee http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/sections/representatives/sponsoredbills.aspx?MemberId=4514&SessionId=66 Cuurent state law: This legislation expressly preempts regulation of smoking to the state and supersedes any municipal or county ordinance on the subject".: Sarasota is in clear violation of state law Smoking already is banned at area beaches, so restrictions at city parks would be a logical extension of those rules. Smokers go to the beach and lite up demand a ticket then sue the city for everything theyve got!
JohnE June 21, 2011 at 06:52 PM
Scientific Evidence Shows Secondhand Smoke Is No Danger Written By: Jerome Arnett, Jr., M.D. Published In: Environment & Climate News Publication Date: July 1, 2008 Publisher: http://www.heartland.org/policybot/results/23399/Scientific_Evidence_Sho... myth-of-second-hand-smoke http://yourdoctorsorders.com/2009/01/the-myth-of-second-hand-smoke BS Alert: The 'third-hand smoke' hoax http://www.examiner.com/public-policy-in-louisville/bs-alert-the-third-h... The thirdhand smoke scam http://velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.com/2010/02/thirdhand-smoke-scam.html Heart attacks Frauds and Myths.. http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/7451/ The Heart Attack Fraud http://cantiloper.tripod.com/canti11.html
JohnE June 21, 2011 at 07:40 PM
Anti-tobacco policies were revived in the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in a movement that paralleled the then-popular alcohol prohibition movement. The Anti-Cigarette League of America campaigned against cigarette sales. Between 1890 and 1930, 15 states enacted laws banning the sale, manufacture, possession, or use of cigarettes, and 22 other states considered such legislation. Even the legislature of the tobacco-producing state of North Carolina considered cigarette prohibition laws in 1897, 1901, 1903, 1905, 1911, 1913, and again in 1917. Eventually, all the states repealed their cigarette prohibition laws. Kansas was the last to do so, in 1927. Nazi Smoke-Haters The next major anti-smoking restrictions were in Nazi Germany. Anti-tobacco extremist Adolf Hitler once stated tobacco was "the wrath of the Red Man against the White Man." Under Hitler, smoking was barred in many workplaces, government offices, hospitals, and rest homes, and later blanket smoking bans were introduced in many cafes, bars, and restaurants. After World War II, during the period of de-Nazification, those bans were repealed.
JohnE June 21, 2011 at 07:40 PM
Neither Progressive nor Permanent Placed in historical context, today's anti-smoking restrictions appear to be neither progressive nor permanent. Like past bans, they are based on prejudices and conventional wisdom that are likely to be falsified by new scientific and health discoveries or, if you like, new prejudices and conventional wisdoms. Also like past bans, today's prohibitions are leading to civil disobedience, black markets, and heavy social and economic costs. With the anti-smoking message backed by billions of dollars from government, foundations, and drug companies, it is easy to overlook the backlash that is already occurring and has been growing stronger. Business owners have been fighting back against smoking restrictions, and prohibitions are being more widely flouted in places such as Italy, Spain, Turkey, and, yes, to some degree even in California. In addition, governments need the revenue that smokers provide in taxes and in revenue to hospitality establishments that cater to a smoking clientele. Though the anti-smoking movement looks formidable, if history is any indication we will not have to wait long for current smoking bans to unravel

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