- Associated Press - Friday, July 10, 2015

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) - Pascagoula’s city attorney is drawing up a proposal that could lead to a smoking ban in public parks.

The proposal would be an amendment to city’s current anti-smoking ordinance.

“Pascagoula has been recognized at the state level for adopting a non-smoking ordinance. Extending our current policy to the parks would be a logical next step in Pascagoula’s efforts to reduce our dependence on tobacco and improve our public health,” Parks and Recreation Director Darcie Crew told The Mississippi Press (https://bit.ly/1Ro9dPI ).

City Manager Joe Huffman said a ban could help keep products away from children and reduce litter from cigarette butts and product packages in the city’s many parks.

The current ordinance, adopted in 2013, bans smoking in most indoor public areas, including restaurants and bars.

It specifically bans smoking in: aquariums, galleries, libraries, museums, professional offices, banks, laundromats, indoor shopping malls, retail stores, restrooms, public lobbies and waiting rooms, sports arenas, hotels, motels, bars, elevators, enclosed stairwells, theaters, public transportation, parking garages, jails, polling places and bingo, convention, educational, health care and childcare facilities.

Smoking is also banned within 20 feet of entrances to those facilities, but it is not generally banned on sidewalks.

Exceptions include private residences (except those being used for a child care, adult day care or health care facility), retail tobacco stores and private clubs that are not open to the general public.

Smoking is also permitted in outdoor areas of restaurants so long as the area constitutes no more than 25 percent of the outdoor seating capacity and is clearly marked with signs.

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Information from: The Mississippi Press, https://www.gulflive.com


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