Smoking in Public Parks: To Ban or Not to Ban? - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Smoking in Public Parks: To Ban or Not to Ban?

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Should smoking be allowed in our public parks?

The cities of Reno and Sparks, Carson City, and Washoe County have commissioned a study to find out whether the citizens want to ban smoking and other tobacco products from public parks. They released the survey Monday and they already have more than 450 responses.

"Right now, our responses after one day kind of indicate that about 60 percent of the people that have responded are interested in seeing smoking be eliminated from parks," Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation Executive Director Nathan Daniel said.

The Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation is conducting the survey online. They're asking about smoking, chewing tobacco, and vaping (inhaling nicotine concentrate through a vaporizer). The survey asks whether people want to ban them outright, restrict them to certain areas, or keep allowing them.

Visitors of Rock Park on Tuesday had mixed opinions.

"I think it's not appropriate to smoke in public parks, not when there's children around," local mother Cassandra Jordan said.

Others, like Sparks resident Richard Dale Chapman, don't see a point to the ban, even saying it restricts people's rights.

"I wouldn't want to force [a ban] on anyone if they're out in open space," Chapman said.

"I think that banning smoking outside, outdoors, anywhere, is ridiculous," Sparks resident Ken Reeves said.

"Even though I'm not a smoker, I kind of think that's up to the people themselves," Sparks resident Dennis Singleton said.

Wherever you stand on the issue, officials want to hear from you.

"Take the survey," Daniel said. "It's literally four questions long. It will take you two minutes."

The survey will be open for about two weeks. You can find it here.

When they have the final results, the Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation will present them to the city councils and county commissions for each jurisdiction. From there, those groups will decide if they want to change their policies.

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