The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

June 27, 2013

Out go the lights: Tobacco banned at some events

CLINTON — Smokers will have to ditch their cigarettes at youth events after the Clinton City Council approved a smoking ban at youth-structured activities and events at city-owned recreational facilities and parks.

The measure passed 5-2 with at-large Councilman John Rowland and Ward 1 Councilwoman Maggie Klaes voting not to implement the policy. Citing the city’s potential inability to enforce the ordinance, Klaes made a motion to pull the ban, but her motion failed 6-1.

Smokers won’t be able to light up at Riverview Pool, Jurgensen Soccer Park, Emma Young Softball/ Football Complex,or the Mayer Park Softball Fields when youth-structured events are in progress.

The Breathe Easy Tobacco Coalition of Clinton and Jackson counties will notify and publicize the policy to the community and facility users. The coalition also will pay for and post signs to notify the public of this policy. Coalition Coordinator Jennifer Gerdes, who led the charge for the smoking ban, said her group has already ordered 35 signs and will begin to post them once the resolution is signed by Mayor Mark Vulich.

Gerdes said her group is thrilled to have council support for the ban that it has been working to implement for three years.

“We want to see community change, not only for the children but for the environment and the community as a whole,” Gerdes said.

Clinton County reported a 28 percent adult smoking rate during the county health rankings. Iowa has an 18 percent rate, while the national benchmark is 13 percent. Adult smoking is factored into the health behaviors section on the County Health Rankings. Clinton came in 99 out of 99 Iowa counties for health behaviors.

According to the resolution, anyone violating the policy will be told to stop using tobacco on the property or leave. If the person will not stop or leave, he or she can be reported to law enforcement for trespassing or violating the ordinance.

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