Smoking in a public park could soon cost you more than just your health. A new Redding ordinance passed Tuesday night, will make smoking illegal in public parks. The City says the ban will create healthier recreation areas, but smokers say enough is enough.
Take a walk in the park, and you'll see them everywhere. Smokers enjoying a cigarette.
"Were in the park just sitting away from all the big groups of people, and staying away you know because not everybody likes it," said Tyler Hartsell, a smoker.
Like it or not, lighting up in the park will soon not be against the rules, even if smokers distance themselves from others.
"I think everyone should have the free will to smoke where they want," said Hartsell.
"Why do I have to be exposed to 2nd hand smoke when I want to go enjoy a park or a playground," said Kim Niemer, Redding's Community Services Director.
Official say the ban promotes a healthier Redding.
"The second hand smoke is a real danger in terms of a public health issue," said Niemer.
In addition to protecting park-goers from harmful toxins, the ban aims to clean up a messy situation.
"We have a lot of cigarette butt litter. Many people appreciate that throwing a water bottle of napkin on the ground is littering. But many smokers don't consider leaving butts on the ground as littering," said Niemer.
Some say the ban is needed in the parks, to help put a stop to smoking over all. While others suggest, despite the new ordinance, smokers will continue to light one up
California law already prohibits smoking in playgrounds and Shasta County law prohibits it in bleachers, a ban is already in place on the river trail. With new sanctions, it appears smokers should leave their cigarettes at home.