While Gerdes is elated about the ban, she acknowledges that not everyone in the community is. She said she has heard negative comments from residents who feel its not the city’s place to ban smoking, but contends the ban is not meant to interfere with residents’ rights.
“This initiative was never meant to take away people’s rights, but to enhance the quality of life for the children. Parents, referees, coaches and other adults at these youth events should want to be positive role models for our children,” Gerdes said. “It might be their right to smoke, but it’s also a citizen’s right and children’s rights to breathe clean air.”
The coalition will continue to work on implementing another five phases of the smoking ban, which would eliminate smoking at unstructured youth areas and activities, festivals on city-owened land, common areas in all parks, Eagle Point Park lodge and adult softball games.