Smoking ban in city parks will go into effect in La Crosse

A smoking ban in La Crosse city parks will now go into effect. Members of the common council voted nine to four in favor of the ordinance Thursday night.

The ordinance would prohibit anyone from smoking cigars, cigarettes, pipes, hookah pipes or the use of e-cigarettes. While smoking would be prohibited in all parks, the city or the group that oversees the park could designate a specific area where smoking would be allowed.

News 8 spoke to many smokers about the issue ahead of the vote and they were all in support of it. They said they were concerned about the impact it could have on children in the park.

“I already am trying to quit smoking and so I think it’s really good for the kids to not have to see a bunch of people smoking. It might help them not smoke when they’re older,” said Gary Sebben, a smoker.

“I think if they have like a designated area away from the children and somewhere we can put them away like a trash can or actually a cigarette butt out thing, would actually be a little bit better. So we can actually put them there instead of putting them there instead of leaving them around for kids to pick up,” said Sylvia Williams, a smoker.

There was a recent cleanup event at Cameron and Poage parks at the end of April. Volunteers went around and picked up hundreds of pieces of tobacco litter.

City officials previously cited the number of hours spent trying to clean up parks as one reason for the ordinance.

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