Smyrna considering smoking ban in city parks, fields

by: John Bachman Updated:


SMYRNA, Ga. - A Cobb County city is looking at banning smoking from city parks and fields. 
Smyrna leaders told Channel 2's John Bachman that they're considering the crackdown after getting complaints from parents about people smoking at fields and parks.
Barbara Vaughan was inside the Smyrna Community Center with her son Thursday, but she is also a regular at city parks. She says people have smoked there in front of her children.
"Being at baseball games, it's very disturbing to me, it makes me feel uncomfortable. I'd rather not have people around me smoking," Vaughan said.
Smyrna City Administrator Eric Taylor has heard similar stories from other residents.
"We've had complaints about people confronting people who were smoking in front of them," Taylor said.
He's proposed a smoking ban at city facilities, which include parks and fields. 
"I agree with it. I'm frankly surprised that it wasn't in place before, I assumed people wouldn't be smoking in green spaces like parks and public places," said mother Andrea Seeney.
Smyrna already has a smoking ban at city events, which include outdoor concerts.
"That's how our policy has kind of evolved over the years, that policy put in place maybe four or five years ago," Taylor said.
While everybody told Bachman they thought smokers shouldn't light up in front of children, not everybody was immediately supportive of a ban.
Doreka Rose doesn't smoke, but recognizes that smokers have rights.
"I do think that people who do smoke have a valid point, at the same time I think everyone has to be considerate of everyone else because we all have to live together," Rose said.
City leaders say the proposed ban would mean more no smoking signs, with the hope of helping parents police themselves.
"I would prefer to have something made clear with signs,” Vaughan said.
"Hopefully it doesn't rise to level of actually calling in one of our police officers and making them put out a cigarette," Taylor said.
Taylor expects to get the proposal before the City Council in the next week or two.
The cities of Alpharetta and Marietta both have similar smoking bans.  So do Clayton and Henry counties. 
Some officials in Cobb County and Kennesaw tried to pass their own smoking bans, but those did not get passed.