SPOKANE, Wash. - At the Spokane Parks Board meeting Thursday afternoon, board members decided to wait to make a decision on a proposed tobacco product ban in Spokane Parks. The issue will now go back to the land committee which will review public testimony given at the meeting.
The two big issues they would like to discuss are smoking in the park during crowded events and the litter created by the use of tobacco products. The next meeting concerning the proposed restrictions is set to take place sometime in May.
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If adopted the policy would be implemented in phases beginning with Riverfront Park. The second phase will involve implementing the policy in the rest of the park system once signage has been obtained. The third phase would involve reviewing the policy as it may relate to City golf courses.
Currently Tobacco use is off limits at playground areas in City parks, swimming pools and golf club houses and golf course buildings but the new policy being considered by the Parks Board would increase the scope of the "tobacco-free" zones and setup a system to help enforce it. The "Tobacco-Free Parks" policy would be implemented in a manner that uses peer pressure and friendly reminders only.
The Park Board believes that tobacco product use in the proximity of children, youth, and adults engaging in or watching outdoor recreational activities at City-owned or operated facilities is unhealthy and detrimental to their health and can be offensive to those using such facilities.
Today's meeting is a step back from an earlier decision to put the policy in place. After a strong response from area residents the Board decided to allow the public one more chance for input on the policy.