Houston to Ban Smoking at Parks, Pools, Golf Courses

Categories: Spaced City

smoking-ban.jpg
That includes parks, golf courses and pools there, smokey.
Following a trend that is occurring in numerous cities across the country, the city will extend its ban of smoking already enforced in most public indoor spaces, outdoor stadiums and within 25 feet of buildings to larger outdoor areas as well beginning September 2. The downtown library facilities will actually be the first to enforce the outdoor ban starting today.

There are 36 other cities in Texas and numerous others throughout the country that have implemented similar bans. The report in the Houston Chronicle pointed out that Houston's ban on smoking has lagged well behind that of other major cities. Houston banned smoking in indoor establishments including bars and restaurants in 2007.

The new rule will apply to all public parks and spaces including pools and golf courses and was made with little fanfare because it did not require a vote of City Council. However, council members and the mayor were quick to praise the decision.

"Millions of Houstonians, many of them children, utilize our city parks and libraries. They deserve to be able to play and learn without being exposed to harmful secondhand smoke," Parker said in a statement. "Likewise, city employees at these facilities also deserve healthy work environments."

Anyone who remembers life before about 1990 can certainly recall the dense smoke that filled vehicles, public transportation, restaurants, bars and even airplanes. In the intervening years, the link between secondhand smoke and cancer was underscored by health professionals and municipalities -- even entire states like California -- slowly began placing restrictions on smoking, first in government facilities and eventually all public places.

It has gotten to the point that it is surprising to walk into a public place and find people smoking legally as is the case in some particularly small towns around Texas. Here in Houston starting September 2, there will be fewer places for smokers to light up than ever.

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10 comments
Jennifer Hunter
Jennifer Hunter

You can't harm someone now in a public space! Common sense. Like it.

Leslie Morrow Loeser
Leslie Morrow Loeser

I love it. Cigarettes are FU@%ING DISGUSTING! It irritates the crap out of me when someone is even smoking in the car in front of me because my car then sucks that air up and I can smell it in my car. Ugh. Anyway I think it's great. I don't wanna smell nasty cigarette smoke when I'm trying to enjoy sitting at the park or whatever. If people wanna smoke use a vapor pen! Those smell nice and the second hand smoke isn't damaging from what I've heard.

Sara Brandino Elias
Sara Brandino Elias

Yes, not being able to smoke in public areas where kids are playing, and people may have asthma, cancer or other issues.... Yes, clearly that is the same thing as living in nazi germany...

Andrew Hernandez
Andrew Hernandez

Yet our potholes still aren't fixed... Seems like city council and the mayor should be focusing on more important issues. There is more smoke caused by traffic off of i10 next to memorial park than can be cause by a smoker or 10.

Reversible
Reversible

Are you kidding me? What is this- Nazi Germany??? In the so-called "land of the free" you can't even have a SMOKE. What a joke...and I'm not even a smoker!

Rachel Jackson
Rachel Jackson

THANK YOU! We should not have to accommodate YOUR poor choice.

h_e_x
h_e_x

I guess they ran of out of ways to criminalize being homeless.

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