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Debra Smith | dsmith@heraldnet.com
Published: Wednesday, May 9, 2012, 9:18 a.m.

Tobacco-free parks in Everett?

  • A young man has a cigarette at Walter E. Hall Park in 2005.

    Justin Best/ Herald File Photo 2005

    A young man has a cigarette at Walter E. Hall Park in 2005.

Should the city ban smoking from its public parks? The Everett Parks Board talked about the possibility last night. The short answer -- at least for the moment -- is no. Education is more effective than enforcement, explained John Petersen, assistant parks director.

However, the city already discourages smokers from lighting up near play areas and posts "For Our Kids -- Tobacco-free" signs nearby. Everett and other area cities passed resolutions supporting tobacco-free parks several years ago, but they didn't come with any legal teeth. It's not illegal to smoke in parks but smokers who light up near kids might get approached by a park ranger.

Most people approached by a park ranger on that topic get it, Petersen said. The most challenging conversations are with parents smoking around their own kids.

The state's Smoking in Public Places Law is focused on public spaces indoors and around entrances. For a quick primer, go here.
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