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City Bans Smoking in Public Parks

June 9th, 2009 by Temple City Tribune

Barrage of Anti-Smoking Activists Persuade Unanimous Vote

Following an anti-smoking ordinance campaign that started in Pasadena and made its way recently through Sierra Madre’s City Council, the Temple City council voted unanimously last Tuesday to ban smoking in all the city’s public parks.

Local resident Roy Rosell was on hand to present his findings on the problem of not just the negative health effects of smoking and second-hand smoke, but of the growing problem of cigarette butt litter collecting in Temple City’s public parks.

Rosell has collected thousands of butts in two liter soda bottles for use as a visual aid showing how large the litter problem has become. He and some concerned local children brought before the council these collected butts by the bagful, collected over one weekend in Temple City Park.

Because of the overwhelming attendance of anti-smoking crusaders, from local teenagers to adults and the elderly, the council was forced to limit the amount of public comment time allowed for each commenter in order to have time to hear all of the arguments, most of which strongly favored the ban.

Currently, the City of South Pasadena is considering a similar, though much stricter ordinance in which apartment buildings would be required to be fully, or nearly smoke-free.

Following a similar presentation from anti-smoking activists, the South Pasadena City Council decided to delay a vote on the measure until city staff could take the appropriate time to study the possible effects of such an ordinance.

Some landlords have voiced concern that such a ban would put them in a difficult situation, forcing them to either diligently enforce the ordinance among their tenants, or facing penalties from the city of other tenants for their failure to do so.

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