- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 3, 2017

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The Sioux Falls City Council has unanimously approved an outdoor tobacco policy that bars people from smoking cigarettes where nonsmokers are likely to congregate.

The measure approved Tuesday bans smoking outside of city-owned facilities operated by third parties, though designated smoking areas can still be provided if they’re at least 25 feet from public entrances.

The ban also requires those hosting an event at a park to apply for a permit to designate a smoking area. The clubhouses, outdoor patios and first and last holes of the city’s two public golf courses also are included in the ban. While on the course, if no one else is around besides playing companions, smoking is still permitted.

Resident David Zokaites criticized the ordinance because of its restrictions regarding golf courses.

“I think it’s excessively complicated and a little hard to interpret,” he said. “You have to read it a couple of times to figure out what it really says.”

Christine Erickson, a member of the council, says the intent of the ordinance is to protect the health of nonsmokers and the rights of smokers.

The ordinance doesn’t outline a fine for people who violate the ban. Instead violators will be ejected from city-owned property if they don’t comply. If they refuse to leave the property, law enforcement has “other tools” to compel them to leave, Erickson said.

The ban doesn’t apply to chewing tobacco, which is still permitted outdoors except during youth activities and near playgrounds.

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