Smoking Ban Considered for Recreational Areas
New law would prohibit smoking at all swimming areas, parks and recreational facilities, including their parking lots.
Going to a park or swimming pool may be a little healthier of an experience soon.
The council introduced an ordinance Wednesday that would prohibit smoking at municipal parks and recreational areas.
Residents would be banned from smoking or even carrying a lighted cigarette, cigar, or pipe in all parks, recreational areas, and swimming facilities, including their parking lots and driveways. Electronic cigarettes would also be banned.
Smoking is already prohibited “in all areas of” Barbour Pond Park. No smoking signs are conspicuously posted at the facility.
Currently, smoking is only allowed in the parking lots of North Cove Park, Captain Michael Kilroy Memorial Park, and the James W. Roe Memorial Pool.
Personnel from two non-profits have expressed their support for the legislation.
“We definitely believe creating smoke-free environments is important, especially for children and teenagers,” said Karen Blumenfeld, executive director of tobacco control policy for Global Advisor of Smoke-Free Policy. “There are shared spaces and they should be accessible to everyone. People shouldn’t have to deal with other people’s smoking when they go out.”
The council is scheduled to vote on the ordinance Sept. 19. If it is approved Wayne would join 12 other Passaic County municipalities that completely ban smoking at their recreational facilities. Pompton Lakes, Wayne, Totowa, and North Haledon are the four currently don’t.
Paterson’s new smokefree laws went into affect on May 20.
Cindy Meakem, coordinator of Tobacco Free For A Healthy New Jersey, said that the law will serve as an example to kids about good behavior.
"Kids mimic what they see," Meakem said. "Little by little we're trying to steer children away from smoking as something that is socially acceptable. This measure definitely works to accomplish that. The less they see adults smoking, the more likely they are not to think that it is okay to smoke."
Meakem said that the measure would save the town money and work to beautify the town in the long run.
“You won’t have to pay people to spend time picking up cigarette butts and it just makes everything look more beautiful too,” Meakem said. “It also helps prevent fires.”