Friday, July 20, 2012
City Council bans smoking in city parks
– The Atlanta City Council approved an ordinance Monday prohibiting smoking in
measure, which was sponsored by City Councilmembers Joyce M. Sheperd and Alex
Wan, was approved on substitute by a vote of 11-1. (Reference No. 12-O-0966)
particularly concerned about the children who are most vulnerable to the effects
of secondhand smoke,” said Councilmember Sheperd. “They have little control
over their outdoor environments. We must remember that city-owned parks are
intended for use by the public, including persons of all ages and the
environment should be healthy for all to enjoy.”
Wan agreed. “I think it’s reasonable to ask our park visitors to abstain
from smoking to protect the health of everyone who enjoys our public
parks. It’s been proven that there’s no risk-free
level of exposure to secondhand smoke. It causes numerous health problems
including severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections and other ailments.”
penalties under the City of Atlanta’s Code of Ordinances would apply for
violating the new ordinance, with a maximum fine of up to $1,000. Signage will
be installed in all city parks.
to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nonsmokers who are exposed to
secondhand smoke (in close proximity to toxic tobacco fumes
indoors and outdoors) increase
their risk of developing health problems.
fact, according to a 2006 U.S. Surgeon General's report, even brief exposures to
secondhand smoke may have adverse effects on the heart and respiratory systems
and increase the severity of asthma attacks, especially in children.
ordinance makes it unlawful for any person to smoke in outdoor parks and
recreational facilities located within the City of Atlanta, including but not
limited to, the parks, athletic fields, aquatic areas, golf courses, tennis
courts, hiking/walking/biking trails, playgrounds, off-leash areas and spectator
and concession areas.
legislation does not apply to any of the following city-owned properties so long
as the properties remain the subject of a lease with a private party: The
Amphitheatre at Lakewood and the Park Tavern Restaurant located at Piedmont Park
and designated smoking areas at golf club amenities.
cities in metro Atlanta have enacted legislation prohibiting smoking in public
parks including the cities of Alpharetta, Decatur, Doraville, Douglasvile,
Duluth, Gainesville, Marietta and Roswell.
that have banned smoking in public parks include Clayton, Douglas, Forsyth,
Henry as well as Athens-Clarke County Consolidated Government.
legislation now goes to the Mayor for final approval.
other news, the Atlanta City Council:
by a vote of 14-0, an ordinance by Councilmember Natalyn M. Archibong
authorizing the Mayor to accept infrastructure in the amount of $2,148,000 from
the Atlanta Gas Light Company for the purpose of building compressed Natural Gas
Vehicle Fueling Stations for the City of Atlanta. (Legislative Reference N o.
by a vote of 13-0, an ordinance by Councilmember Kwanza Hall authorizing the
installation of Public Art on the east wall of the 171 Auburn Avenue,
Renaissance Walk Building in honor of U.S. Congressman John Lewis. (Legislative
Reference No. 12-O-0963)
above legislation and a complete list of other items on the council’s agenda
can be viewed in their entirety on the Web at: http://citycouncil.atlantaga.gov/2012/fca0716.htm
adopted legislative items and any amendments to those items or substitute papers
can be viewed at: http://citycouncil.atlantaga.gov/Captions/default.asp
council minutes can be viewed at: http://citycouncil.atlantaga.gov/Minutes2.htm
video of Atlanta City Council meetings can be viewed at: http://citycouncil.atlantaga.gov/Video.htm