Should Dallas ban smoking in city parks?

Photo by Rasy Ran
Photo by Rasy Ran

The Dallas City Council will consider an ordinance this week to ban smoking outdoors in parks and on trails.

The park smoking ban has been in the works for several years. The Dallas Park Board came to a stalemate over whether the ban should extend to parks that generate revenue for the city and have outside operators, including Fair Park, the Dallas Arboretum, Elm Fork Shooting Range and municipal golf courses. Some members argued that a smoking ban for those places could cause a loss of profit.

Eventually, the park board agreed to exempt those facilities from the ban, but City Council members had other ideas.

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When the proposal arrived at the City Council Quality of Life Committee this past August, Councilman Phillip Kingston moved to throw out the exemptions, and committee members agreed.

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The proposal now calls for a total ban ban on smoking in about 400 parks, including the arboretum and golf courses, and on more than 100 miles of trails.

Dallas park board members Jesse Moreno Jr. and Paul Sims proposed the ban as a way to further protect children and animals from second-hand smoke.

“My personal opinion is: I don’t care if people smoke,” Sims told the Advocate in September. “I just don’t want them to smoke around children in our parks.”

Dallas banned smoking in restaurants in 2003 and then bars in 2009. Anyone found violating the city’s smoking ordinance could be fined up to $200.

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  • Omar Davis

    Ban smoking in city parks is not going to work. That’s going way to far, people being smoking for thousands of years. The nerve of a holes on top. Smoke free parks means no freedom park.
    Taxs paying smokers pay for the parks.