Possible smoking ban on city property

by RACHEL SLUSS | Reporter Published:

Streetsboro -- City Council raised the possibility of prohibiting smoking on city properties at its Jan. 13 meeting.

Discussion among Council members and citizens followed the proposal.

Safety Committee Chair John Ruediger brought the issue to the Council's agenda that night and opened discussion regarding a smoking ban on city property.

The city's current smoking law includes signs that require smokers to stand at least 25 feet away from city buildings and youth activities, Ruediger said.

Also, smoking is prohibited on school property altogether, Ruediger said.

Even if smokers are able to light up 25 feet away from buildings, City Council member Tim Claypoole said people usually have to walk near enough to smokers to get a whiff of second-hand smoke.

"I really believe this is progressive and something that I'd like to see our city consider, and I think it would move us forward," Ruediger said. "I really do think, with it being a safety and health issue, it's something we should positively promote in the city."

Council member Regis Faivre said prohibiting smoking on city property might be difficult to enforce, particularly on weekends during outdoor events such as children's Sunday soccer games.

"People ignore signs," said Faivre. "We see that all the time with speed limits and everything else."

Ruediger said he hopes the ordinance would be enforced by residents simply asking smokers to extinguish their cigarettes when lit on city property. Further action could be taken if the person refused to do so, he added

Mayor Glenn Broska said the city would be overstepping its authority in prohibiting smoking on city grounds.

"I know its unhealthy, but it's also legal," said Broska. "It's just another thing that regulates what people can do. You're turning people into criminals for a legal activity."

Even if no one were around to be affected by second-hand smoke, Ruediger said many locations, such as trails at City Park, do not offer proper receptacles for cigarette butts. Improper disposal could result in a fire during warmer months.

"It comes down to common courtesy for your fellow man," Broska said. "I mean, you're talking about a legal activity here. I can go to the store, and I can buy cigarettes. To have it where it is a complete ban on city property, I think we're just infringing on an individual's ability to do something legal."

Claypoole said people have the right to smoke but should do so on their own property because nonsmokers often do not have a choice in inhaling second-hand smoke when cigarettes are lit in close proximity.

Resident Pearl Pullman says she and her daughter suffer from asthma and have left events, due to unwanted cigarette smoke.

"I do not like to infringe on other people's rights," Pullman said. "But your rights do not trump my rights to breathe, and I do not, however, see how you can enforce most of the rules you're putting out today."

Chuck Kocisko, a former Council member who described himself as a nonsmoker, said the city should work on enforcing the smoking regulations they have in place now. He said toughening the law would involve "too much government" in people's lives.

Emerylde Bradley, a former Council member who describes herself as a nonsmoker, said many airports rope off designated smoking areas away from main entrances outside buildings. With that arrangement, she said no one's rights are violated.

"This can be done at any park," she said. "They just go out of sight, out of mind, smoke their cigarettes and everybody lives happily ever after."

Resident Carmen Laudato who describes herself as a nonsmoker said the students of Streetsboro City Schools often know and recognize city officials. Fifth-grade students are currently learning about the effects of smoking through the going through the DARE program.

"They know you," she told Council members. "You're in the schools. You're out front. A lot of people sitting up here are very active with the youth. You have to understand that you are setting an example."

She said her daughters are in DARE this year and are learning and writing about the dangers of smoking, among other things and are being asked to sign pledges not to smoke.

"Then they're coming out in the community and see representatives of our city smoking away," said Laudato.

Council members asked Law Director David Maistros to bring to the next safety committee meeting examples other municipalities' smoking laws, ranging from complete bans to partial bans with designated smoking areas.

The public is free to comment on the issue at Council meetings, but there will not be a dedicated public hearing, said Broska.

Email: rsluss@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-535-9400 ext. 4162

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  • Martin

    I have to say I agree with the bulk of your statements. I'm a little confused with the "selling adult toys" comment. I don't know how that's a bad example or how it pertains to this city. 

    The comment of "my daughter and I have asthma" is completely nonsensical. You are outside and second hand smoke is not going to effect you. You may smell it but unless you're right on top of it, it's not going to consume your air. Mr. Fleming is completely correct with his statement of banning everything else that creates smoke. The turnpike runs into Streetsboro; when will you be shutting that down? You want to clean up the air, remove any smoke producing elements. Wood burners, semis, Brown Derby, SUVs, etc. This is strictly an attack on smokers. There are many more important issues to contend with. Try and focus on the benefit of the city as a whole. This is not progress... It's more like oppression.

     

  • And the comment, setting an example.  There are far worse things than smoking that public officials are setting an example for.  That of all of them was the dumbest and most rediculous statement I have heard.

    I think adultery, deception, selling adult "toys" and a few other things set a worse example.

    Martin Fleming

  • In fact, we are Sodom and Gomorrha on Super Intense Steroids.

    Martin Fleming

  • Claypoole states, "nonsmokers often do not have a choice in inhaling second-hand smoke when cigarettes are lit in close proximity"

    As I stated before, it appears we don't have a choice in inhaling all those fumes from the Semi's.  We don't have a choice inhaling all those fumes from Brown Derby when visiting Walgreens, BP or any other business in close proximity to Brown Derby.  We don't have a choice inhaling all those toxic fumes from people burning wood in their homes to stay warm.  We don't have a choice breathing in all those fumes from the coal burning electric plants.  We don't have a choice in breathing all the pollutants from the vehicles and other factory emissions.

    Comments made by some of those don't realize that it is not the cigarette smoke but all those other pollutants mentioned above are their main enemy.

    A comparative situation would be that rather than disarm the nation of weapons of mass distruction imposing themselves on another, we go in and take away all the handguns from the civilians who aren't part of any of it.

    The same as banning all citizens from having guns or weapons legally so that the criminals only can carry them.

    In fact why don't we just legalize it so only the criminals can have weapons and make it against the law for anyone to have a gun that doesn't have a weapon.

    Same ideaology.

    Good God people, we banned smoking from public establishments and that one I agree with.  But outside?  What kind of a moronic society are we becoming.

    They complain about Phil Roberston showing his moral aptitude but praise a girl who swings on a wrecking ball naked.

    We aren't turning into Sodom and Gomorrha, we ARE Sodom and Gamorrha.

    Martin Fleming

  • This is unbelievable, people who complain about someone smoking when they can just move to a new spot, while we build a high school next to an asphalt plant but are not worried about all the contaminants it is spewing out that the children are breathing all day.

    Leadership in the school district is highly questionable.  Now, we have people on city council that are presenting the same ignorant attitude which now makes it appear the leadership of the city has become questionable.

    And I'm not talking about the mayor.

    We need to remove those from office who are favor of such an assine idea.

    Martin Fleming

  • If we are going to go this route then we shouldn't stop there.

    We need to ban all Semi's that go through our town, especially those who modified their fuel pumps that cause them to spew all that black smoke. We need to shut down Brown Derby for they are burning wood and that also spews out the carcinogens. I can smell Brown Derby all the way to my house. We need to also ban any and everyone who are burning wood or coal in their homes to keep warm. They too are also spewing out tons of chemicals by burning. We need to ban everyone who use wood or charcol to barbecue. That also is a hinderance to our health. And don't forget all those volcanoes that spew out stuff that is even worse than everything above listed. We need to start fining the states that do have active volcanoes for they are polluting the rest of our nation. We need to close Yosemite for that is an culdera and an active system. That is what causes the guisers.

    Now do you see how assine this is.

    People you need to focus on those things that are more important like building a school next to an ashpalt plant.

    No, we get a couple of council members who need to be removed from office for bringing up such an ignorant propsition to begin with.

    That's where the problem really is.

    Martin Fleming