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Pittsfield Asked To Restrict Smoking In Parks

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
10:45PM / Wednesday, May 28, 2014
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Tyson Edwards has asked the city to ban smoking in parks.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A resident is petitioning the city to tighten up smoking regulations in city parks.

Tyson Edwards filed the petition to completely ban people from smoking in city parks.

On Tuesday, the City Council referred the petition to the Board of Health for further consideration.

Edwards' told the council that similar bans have been effective in much larger cities, so one would work here.

"A lot of times you will see kids run through a cloud of smoke," Edwards. "People won't move away from the park to smoke."

He said many of his neighbors agree but none have come forward to address the issue. So he decided he would.

Edwards added that he isn't against smoking in general, but he is concerned the secondhand smoke the children are inhaling.

However, resident Alex Blumin has a different view. Smokers are taxpayers, too, he said, so banning them from smoking on public land is wrong.

"Smokers are taxpayers as you and I. They pay taxes to the city of Pittsfield to maintain city parks," he told the council.

Blumin said he is a landlord and he doesn't ban smoking for his tenants because they pay for their apartments. The city should be the same. At most, he said the city should establish specific smoking areas at parks.

"We should not ban people from smoking in city parks," he said.

North Adams banned smoking in its parks and other public places nearly two years ago.

Meanwhile, Ward 6 Councilor John Krol is requesting the Tri-Town Health Department to give the city updates on tobacco awareness programs and strategies to reduce access to minors. That petition was referred to the committee on public health and safety.

Blumin opposed that as well.

"We don't need lectures from him. We've got a very good Board of Health," he said, referring to Tri-town director James Wilusz. "We don't need somebody from Tri-town to come and lecture us."


Tags: public parks,   smoking awareness,   smoking ban,   smoking regulations,   

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