NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - After their last city council meeting where the Arkansas Tobacco Coalition made a presentation of benefits behind being smoke-free, the city of Newport is now considering passing an ordinance that would ban smoking in public parks.
"At that meeting, there was some opposition with council members," said David Stewart, Newport mayor. "But we have been looking over things including some literature that they gave us and we will revisit this issue more at the next council meeting."
Stewart said out of the five public parks they have, smoking is already banned at the George Kell Park where several kids go to play baseball.
"We have signs and everything up just for that park in particular, not because of an ordinance," said Stewart. "People have taken well to those rules so I don't think it will be an issue for any of the other parks."
Stewart said the plan behind this ordinance will be to stamp out smoking.
"They want residents to stop smoking, and to keep children from smoking," said Stewart. "We spend a lot of money for those parks to give our kids a place to go so if it is for their health, this I completely understand the initiative."
The ordinance would ban the use of all tobacco products including e-cigarettes, snuff, and chewing tobacco.
"A smoke-free park could very easily make a difference," said Stewart. Again, there are a lot of children around there and we certainly want to do anything we can as a city to keep the children from smoking at a young age."
Stewart said the council will listen to the coalition and residents who have jumped on board with the smoke-free park idea.
Afterward, they will determine if they will put together an ordinance to accommodate those rules.
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