DEARBORN (WWJ/AP) – The city of Dearborn is expected to post “no smoking” signs in its parks.
The Detroit Free Press reports the Detroit suburb could become one of about a dozen municipalities in the state to ban smoking in all public parks due to health concerns.
The issue has prompted a debate among council members and residents, with some saying smokers are being singled out. Some are calling for only a partial ban, but others saying that it would be unfair to make exceptions.
The ban would apply to all forms of smoking, including cigarettes, e-cigarette, cigars and hookah pipes — the latter of which is popular in Dearborn due to a large Arab American population. The Arab American News reports smoking hookah is often practiced at picnics.
Under the ordinance, violators would not be automatically ticketed but would be face a $25 fine if they fail to comply with a police officer’s order to stop smoking. The ordinance was tabled last month but was expected to be considered, and approved, by City Council on July 23.
If it passes, Dearborn would be only the second city in Southeast Michigan to completely ban smoking in parks. Huntington Woods passed a similar ordinance in 1997, and Ann Arbor moved last year to restrict smoking in some parks.
Dearborn resident Barry Love, who lives near Gear Park on Prospect Street, likes the idea.
“They should have smoke-free parks, because mostly children play in the parks and you shouldn’t really smoke around your children,” Love told WWJ’s Laura Bonnell. “And there’s no ashtrays, so people throw their cigarette butts all over.”
One Dearborn smoker, who didn’t want to give his name, believes there could be a compromise.
“I hope they have a little smoking section, at least one smoking section…in the park area,” he said.
Dearborn has 43 public parks.
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