Salt Lake Council to Discuss Outdoor Smoking Ban

Salt Lake Council to Discuss Outdoor Smoking Ban

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Whit Johnson ReportingSmoking in Salt Lake City parks could soon be a thing of the past. The City Council will discuss the issue at tonight's meeting. Mayor Rocky Anderson and a few city council members are spearheading this proposal in the interest of public health.

So far the park smoking ban has received support from the public and city leaders, but some smokers feel their right to light-up is beginning to disappear.

As the damaging health effects become more widely known, cities and states across the country are telling people to keep the smoke to themselves.

Justin Mann: "It seriously bothers me. The smell, the toxins. I don't like it at all."

Salt Lake City is now looking to join the charge and put a stop on smoking in about 75 city areas. At least nine other Utah cities are leading the trend including Logan, West Jordan and Midvale.

Kane Loader, Midvale City Administrator: "The city council was adamant about not wanting to hurt and take rights away from people, it's just that they wanted to protect the health and safety of young people."

Patrick Thronson, Communications Director: "Smoke is defined as a class a carcinogen but the EPA, which puts it in the same category as asbestos, and the surgeon general has said that scientific evidence indicates that no level of smoke is considered safe."

If the proposal goes through, violators could get slapped with a $299 fine.

Research shows every year in Utah between 140 and 250 people die from secondhand smoke.

Joshua :"I'm not not for the purpose. I'm not for the sole ending of the conclusion of the whole matter, which is our right, will be gone and won't be given back."

Justin Mann: "I think people who want to smoke they have the right to smoke. It's kind of considerate to keep it away from the people who don't want to have to around them."

A two-year-old survey shows about 87-percent of the people living in Salt Lake County would support an ordinance banning smoking in public areas. Salt Lake City Council members will discuss the city park smoking ban at their meeting tonight at 5:30.

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