Cigarette Butts In The Sandbox, Just One Of The Issues Behind Proposed Smoking Ban

ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – The Ann Arbor City Council Monday will vote on a proposal that would ban smoking in certain outdoor areas. City Councilman Chuck Warpehoski says the law would designate certain non-smoking areas at parks, as well create a smoke free buffer surrounding city buildings and in bus shelters.

Warpehoski says at playgrounds in particular, it’s been a big problem.

“The volunteers doing cleanup in the playground are finding a bunch of cigarette butts. I’ve heard people talk about being at the playground there are cigarette butts in the sandbox – people are putting them in their mouths- they are not biodegradable. So it’s a long lasting environmental toxin,” said Warpehoski.

He says the amount of area that this proposed ordinance would cover is “insignificant” saying that a person could still “smoke on the sidewalk, smoke in the vast majority of places that people can smoke now, it just means that when you are in these areas … you have to make sure that the other people using that space have access to clean air.”

The ordinance would cover all bus stops, and within 20 feet of the entrances, windows and ventilation systems of city owned buildings and at parks, it would give the city administrator flexibility to designate areas of city owned parks as smoke free.

A vote in favor by the City Council could approve the ban. However, it has met some opposition from smokers.

 

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