Mayor Ed Murray Wants to Ban Smoking in Parks, and the City Says There's Nothing Unfair About That

Comments

1
good. cigarettes/tobacco is nasty and stinks. good riddance!
2
"Omfg, Sarah, can that fucking bum NOT smoke right by us??"

"Which bum?"

"The one shitting by the bush."

3
I'm for it. Emitting toxic gases on innocent bystanders is not a right that anyone has. That said, enforcement should lean toward the educational side.
4
I love that the biggest argument against the ban is the effect on homeless people. Fucking Seattle.
5
Sorry unknown Slog writer. I'm totally cool with a ban in parks, especially places like Carkeek or Discovery where there's often lots of wind. Lung cancer is death sentence and emphysema is ultra miserable (and gross). And those e-cigs make their smokers look stupid.
6
I don't smoke cigs, but no. it's not an illegal activity, and there has to be SOME place you can do it. when parks are gone, what's left?
7
@6

Who cares? Tobacco is awful and tobacco products are noxious things. Smoke in the sewers. Stay out of parks if you're going to exercise your disgusting, carcinogenic personal habits.
8
I assume this will be enforced about as strictly as the dog ban on the beach at Golden Gardens, i.e., not even slightly.
9
Vancouver BC has had such an ordinance for a couple of years, and it's worked well as far as I can tell. I hadn't considered that it could be used to further marginalize homeless people, nor have I heard that it has been used that way here. If it passes, some people will ignore this as they do the King County ordinance against smoking at bus shelters.
10
Personally, the tailpipe emissions of a thousand downtown buses get me buzzed enough. Who needs nicotine when you've got lead & benzene? Plus, it almost disguises the BBO (beyond body odor) at Westlake.
11
It's odd to see a situation where the tobacco industry and (apparently) the Stranger are in solidarity. I don't think that those corporations could have devised a better way to stop smoking bans - by linking it to social justice. Seriously though, it does suck to have a bunch of people smoking in your general vicinity at a crowed place like Madison Beach…and trust me, those smokers are just privileged hipsters.
12
The tailpipe emissions of three thousand daily downtown buses are okay, though.

Censor that, you fucks.
13
@9 Ugh, you're most likely correct. The bus shelter smokers are the lowest form of human. It's a very sociopathic behavior.
14
Support 100%. There's nothing worse than being on the Green Lake walking path and having some asshole pollute the beautiful surroundings with god damn smoke.

Smokers rights? Fuck the hell off.
15
Thanks for the email addresses Heidi. I just emailed each of them in support of the ban.
16
I support a ban. When I was a kid, it seemed like everyone smoked. Now, I don't know a single smoker any more. I can't remember the last time I saw anyone smoking. Fresh air is awesome.
17
Who smokes anymore anyway?
A smoking ban in the parks would help to make parks what they were supposed to be in the first place...an opportunity for some fresh air and a little bit of nature. It'll also result in fewer cigarette butts on the ground so what's really not to like about it? The "homeless" won't be able to smoke in the park? Seriously? They can't walk out of the park and onto the sidewalk for a smoke like everyone else?
18
Wouldn't want to soil Seattle's glorious open sewers we call parks with an odor besides fermented human urine. Ban those unsightly cigs already!
19
It's odd to see a situation where the tobacco industry and (apparently) the Stranger are in solidarity.

Obvious but as yet unasked question: is Ms. Groover a smoker?
20
Does this include the parklets? That where a lot of smokers hang out from bars even though the small print sign says no smoking and there is no enforcement.
21
This is going to go over well at Cal Anderson. Next thing you know we'll be banning drugs in parks!
22
Come on, really? A man urinated on the bus stop I was waiting by yesterday, and the fucking pee splashed all over everybody. But still less smelly and toxic than cigarette smoke! Why don't we fight for public urination rights too??
23
This ordinance will be a valuable tool for SPD to misuse. They need another one that prevents people from shooting other people. It inevitably makes my second bus late.
24
Burn baby burn!
25
Can someone please explain how banning smoking in a park specifically targets the poor and homeless. Nicotine addiction can be found at all social levels.
26
fuck you smokers! go smoke that shit in your own house. don't pollute my public space air! fucking losers. every sidewalk downtown is filled with the shit. go smoke there. if i'm on a run it's the last thing i want to run through. dicks.
27
@7: maybe it should be illegal to smoke, period. that always works well.

how can a substance be legal to use if there is nowhere that is legal to use it?
28
"Nobody’s concerned about the scourge of middle-class guys and women taking smoke breaks in the park…"

Do you mean the same no-class people who throw their butts on the ground, treating the world as their ash-tray?
29
I really really really hate the Puritan anti-smoking bullshit I see on this thread. I bet everyone of you jerks self medicate with your drug of choice and you can't stay out of smokers' business. I say it's another form of anti-drug paranoia and I say to hell with it.
30
Smoking in the parks only bothers me when I get a whiff of it jogging, but my annoyance certainly does not justify government regulation. Anyone in favor of this law who also enjoys legal weed and the convenience of privatized liquor sales is a hypocrite.
31
@27

You'll hear no complaint from me if it's banned, that's for darn sure.
32
@30

Explain why they're hypocritical or get the fuck out of this comment thread.
33
Excellent point @32 since public consumption of those items are already regulated.

Arrogant chime-in troll @30 would not be missed.
34
Feel like Heidi could be misreading this. They recently tried (& narrowly failed) to ban smoking on beaches here in Oregon. Not many homeless out on the coast here and I think a large part of the intent was to address those lovely folks who use the world as their ashtray. Suppose it could easily be used to target the homeless though, which would suck for sure.

@25,

It doesn't specifically target the poor & homeless; it disproportionately affects them.
35
I wish the 25 foot rule was enforced. Easier just to say "forget it, not at all". On sidewalks outside of doors and windows too, like on the hill outside bars. What am Ai saying? Smokers should just foad already.
36
Look at the ground anyplace you walk, and there are cigarette butts everywhere. That alone is reason enough for a ban.
37
I'm San Luis Obispo and just saw a sign that said no smoking in public, period. Also, no dogs.
38
NYC has this. It is wonderful! You want to pollute the air with noxious, carcinogenic smoke? Do it in your home.
40
I only want the state to do it because I'm not allowed to go out and beat smokers over the head with a big stick.
41
I'll explain it to you @32. The new weed and liquor laws rightly assume that responsible adults can buy drugs and use them safely without the government stepping in and without any fear of criminal charges. These are good laws – progressive and sane - and they allow people to make private choices about behavior that many other governments have tried to regulate. By any realistic standard tobacco should fall into the same category. It's a drug that people use every day to relax and socialize and the damage it does is mostly private, personal, and limited. Passing laws that allow some drugs to be shared openly while other similar drugs are chastised or worse are silly, hypocritical, and should have no place in our ever more progressive city.
42
@36, If butts are the nuisance, then maybe we enforce the littering law. I walk daily between the U-District and SLU and see far more dog shit than cigarette butts on the sidewalk. So should we ban dogs? Or should we enforce the common-sense rule to clean up after yourself?
43
Do It! Do It! Do It! Air. Air is good.
44
@41 What drugs are you allowed to share openly in a park?! The smoking ban would apply to weed just as much as cigarettes, and I'm pretty sure it's already illegal to smoke crack in public (sorry again, homeless population.) Go ahead and make your private and personal decision to smoke and then do it in your private and personal space - not a public park.
45
Good. Step #300 out of who knows in slowly convincing morons like Heidi Groover that no, it's not actually your birthright to spew toxic gas at anyone who comes near where you are/were recently. No one cares if you kill yourself slowly, but do try not to kill the rest of us while you do it.
46
@41 " It's a drug that people use every day to relax and socialize and the damage it does is mostly private, personal, and limited."

If you want to stick your head up your ass and blow smoke than go right ahead. But, when you're in a park surrounded by people enjoying the outdoors and you're spewing that crap (not unlike your posts) then it is anything but private, personal and limited.
47
I'll support the smoking ban only if drinking in parks is legalized.
48
@46, I think you missed her point.
49
@41

Drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana are both illegal in public parks.
50
@37 SLO was the first municipality in the world to ban smoking in all indoor public areas. Their voter base is largely retirees that are perpetually annoyed at the college kids that go to a school that has been there for over a century now so rampant regulation on "annoying" behavior is to be expected.
51
@48

And what point is that, exactly? That Drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana ought to be legal in public parks?

It looks to me like Gulrdoggie is arguing that people are somehow being hypocritical when then say the same kinds of laws should be applied to cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana in public parks. And that's a pretty weird thing to argue.
52
Follow my lead and shout "You dropped something!" every time you see somebody drop a cigarette butt on the ground. They do it out of habit and most seem thoroughly shocked at my intrusion. Seriously I don't give half a fuck how you choose to destroy your health, but keep your nasty litter to yourself.
53
This is getting fucking ridiculous. From a non-smoker's point of view, the most I put up with is a mildly annoying smell suggestive of cat piss. I can accept that. We should be as offended by mid-thirty-year olds sporting 'soul patches,' black plastic eyeglass frames, and PBR breath. I'm not a libertarian, and support anything that truly protects the well-being of the collective. This is not one of those instances. Is it fair to condemn ugly and annoying personal habits/behaviors but not ugly appearances and behaviors? Christ, lighten up, people. This attitude is getting a little TOO tight-assed.
54
I don't think in a police state countries like this it's a good idea to have soooo many nanny laws... You all know that Eric Garner died over a stupid NY tobacco nanny law legislature, right? This is not Canada or whatever, our police is too dangerous for these things... and btw WA, NY, and Cali are bloated with nanny laws already... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXctA2Bq…
55
The homeless can afford cigarettes? NO-ONE can afford to smoke anymore.
56
No @51, that is obviously not my point.

My point is this: we are a society full of people who self-medicate. If we all agree that I stay out of your face when you have a beer or a toke or a Viagra or a Paxil, then I wish you would agree to stay out of my face when I need a smoke.
57
A smoking ban and how it effects the homeless? Really? That's your argument? Holy fuck is that weak.

Nobody - homeless or otherwise - has a constitutional right to smoke toxic polluting shit anywhere they want.

The revolting toxic fumes aside, discarded butts poison animal and bird life. Not to mention start fucking fires. And it costs money to clean up after smokers. 90% couldn't give a fuck about policing their butts.

Of course smoking should be banned in parks. Of all the stupid editorial positions at the Stranger this ranks right up there. Not as bad as your papers support for the invasion of Iraq. But still pretty fucking stupid.
58
@56 God damn that was a dumb statement Paxil and Viagra don't waft fifty feet through the air and give you a boner. Or cancer. Viagra and Paxil are also not addictive.

Cigarettes are not "medicine." They are a dangerous addictive poison that, unless you vape or shove tobacco up your ass, pollutes.

Either vape or smoke in your own home. But you don't have constitutional right to inflict your poisonous weakness on bystanders or the environment.
59
If homeless people didn't want to be fined & banned they'd buy mansions like the rest of us.
60
I totally support a smoking ban. I'm not sure I understand how this adversely affects the homeless. It's not like a worker downtown who is not homeless is going to have an alternative place to smoke. It's not like they are going to get in a bus, go home, and light up that smoke. Both homeless and those housed will be forced to go into an alley to smoke. This is where that behavior belongs, regardless of your housing situation.
61
Here are literally dozens of vetted research papers on the health danger of secondhand tobacco smoke:

https://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=can…

Sorry but nobody has the right to inflict thier selfish suicidal addiction on other people or the environment. Smokers arguing for the "right" to smoke in public spaces have NO argument.

Funny how liberals who smoke suddenly transform into Libertarians the second thier addiction is threatened.
62
@61 since I don't have that addiction, i don't think that's my motivation.

the danger of secondhand smoke ("spewing poison") in this situation is being wildly exaggerated. you're not going to get lung cancer from catching a whiff of a menthol while jogging.

well, maybe you delicate flowers are, but i'm not. i'll get it from inhaling campfire smoke, like a normal NWerner.
63
Holy shit these comments are ridiculous its not gonna make one fucking difference who the hell is going to enforce it? When was the last time you saw a cop at any Seattle park other than Westlake? This is just wasted legislation and time, focus on real issues, like I don't know, the crack dealers downtown that keep shooting each other? Maybe the increase in hate crimes?
64
I thought smokers dropped their butts so tramps can pick them up and finish them.

"go into an alley to smoke"? No, smoke on the sidewalk. Regarding Steinbrueck, Westlake and Occidental parks: if it really is enforced, like weed smoking and littering (yeah right), smokers would just move to the sidewalks where more people walking by would be exposed to smoke than in those parks.
65
This a lot of comments about a law thatl probably ding 10 people a year tops.
I'm sure the fierce defending smoke, the strong anti probably used to smoke or lost a loved one to cancer.
Honestly, I used to smoke. I really enjoy not smoking and encourage others to quit as well. I dislike littering and find it annoying that many smokers disregard that. Also it kills you, but probably not as fast as drinking, guns, chilling on the couch and good old cheeseburgers.
Lastly, Raindrop is a fucking moron.
66
Also surprised at these comments. A full ban will be enforced just as well as the 25 foot rule - which is to say almost never and almost always a minority or homeless individual at the receiving end of the few tickets written.

I'll also echo the comments that mention all the pollution from cars and buses circling the parks 24 hours a day. Should we have parking lots in parks? Car exhaust is carcinogenic after all. Ultimately any arguments about the health effects of second hand smoke in an outdoor urban environment are nothing more than concern trolling.

I just can't imagine there is much of a problem to solve here. How often are people really blowing smoke on others in parks? I'm sure it happens sometimes because some people are assholes but most smokers are relatively conscientious these days and the assholes won't change their behavior anyway.
67
thanks @66. What a bunch of pearl-clutching babies most of these commenters are. Maybe they should team up with the people who want to ban abortions. "I know it's legal and it's your personal choice, but fuck you."
68
@58, Did you read any of those studies? Would you have the slightest clue what they mean if you did? You don't need to answer, I already know.

There is exactly zero science to support open-air smoking as a health threat to non-smokers. If people want to make it more difficult for smokers to slowly kill themselves by regulating their behavior out of existence that's cool but leave the science behind second-hand smoke out of this discussion. It has no place here.
69
**@61^
70
It doesn't solve anything save for some Mrs Lovejoy style smuggery. This is essentially the same as banning eye contact on buses.

I mean, like, 10 people smoke these days right? I've never even seen someone smoking in a park, never mind had to leave one because it was so unpleasant.

And I've /been/ to parks!
71
Unfortunately, cigarette smoking does not dissipate within 25 feet, but lingers in the air, and can easily drift 100 meters before dissipating. The problem with differential enforcement is real however. There is no easy solution for this problem. It will take a lot of compassion and serious social commitment over decades (centuries?) to solving the roots of addiction and homelessness.
72
Ban ALL smoking in public. But enforce it with a 1ooo fine and make sure the fine money only supports more enforcement. I would like to go out in public and not have to endure plumes of tobacco everywhere. It was much better when people were allowed to smoke inside. You didn't have to go in there and could avoid the smoke. Now you can't avoid it because it is everywhere outside.
73
It's part of living in a city. Dogs bark, cats shit in your yard, buses go by at 5 am, people occasionally smoke in public parks. Get over yourselves.
74
@68 For fuck sake.

The levels of cognitive dissonance on display here is epic. You're like a climate change denier:

"DON'T TELL ME THE SCIENCE AND YOU WOULDN'T UNDERSTAND IT IF YOU DID TELL ME I DON'T HEAR YOU ARRRGARRRRBLEGARARRRGLEARRG!!!"

Sorry. But the science is sound. It is a settled matter. Yes. Second hand smoke DOES increase the likelihood of lung disease. it does. Did I read all those links? Nope. And you didn't even LOOK at them.

The shear numbers of well funded studies by the leading epidemiologists of lung disease should give you a clue. Look through ANY of those links. Any of them. It is a settled matter in medical science. End of story.

Your ignorant bullshit won't change any of that.
75
Wondering how many people who are saying that no one has the right to spew toxic chemicals drive cars. With smoking the worst case scenario is causing illness in others, bad. With auto exhaust the worst case scenario is the extinction of life on earth, worse. Oh well, everyone drives so cars are off the discussion table. And yes, it's more complex than that. Everything is.
76
From the very FIRST link alone (mostly about indoor spaces):


6 Major Conclusions of the 2006 Surgeon General Report
Smoking is the single greatest avoidable cause of disease and death. In this report, The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General, the Surgeon General has concluded that:

1. Many millions of Americans, both children and adults, are still exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes and workplaces despite substantial progress in tobacco control.
Supporting Evidence
• Levels of a chemical called cotinine, a biomarker of secondhand smoke exposure, fell by 70 percent from 1988-91 to 2001-02. In national surveys, however, 43 percent of U.S. nonsmokers still have detectable levels of cotinine.
• Almost 60 percent of U.S. children aged 3-11 years—or almost 22 million children—are exposed to secondhand smoke.
• Approximately 30 percent of indoor workers in the United States are not covered by smoke-free workplace policies.

2. Secondhand smoke exposure causes disease and premature death in children and adults who do not smoke.
Supporting Evidence
• Secondhand smoke contains hundreds of chemicals known to be toxic or carcinogenic (cancer-causing), including formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic, ammonia, and hydrogen cyanide.
• Secondhand smoke has been designated as a known human carcinogen (cancer-
causing agent) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Toxicology Program and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has concluded that secondhand smoke is an occupational carcinogen.

3. Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), acute respiratory infections, ear problems, and more severe asthma. Smoking by parents causes respiratory symptoms and slows lung growth in their children.
Supporting Evidence
• Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are inhaling many of the same cancer-causing substances and poisons as smokers. Because their bodies are developing, infants and young children are especially vulnerable to the poisons in secondhand smoke.
• Both babies whose mothers smoke while pregnant and babies who are exposed to secondhand smoke after birth are more likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) than babies who are not exposed to cigarette smoke.
• Babies whose mothers smoke while pregnant or who are exposed to secondhand smoke after birth have weaker lungs than unexposed babies, which increase the risk for many health problems.
• Among infants and children, secondhand smoke causes bronchitis and pneumonia, and increases the risk of ear infections.
• Secondhand smoke exposure can cause children who already have asthma to experience more frequent and severe attacks.

4. Exposure of adults to secondhand smoke has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and causes coronary heart disease and lung cancer.
Supporting Evidence
• Concentrations of many cancer-causing and toxic chemicals are higher in
secondhand smoke than in the smoke inhaled by smokers.
• Breathing secondhand smoke for even a short time can have immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and interferes with the normal functioning of the heart, blood, and vascular systems in ways that increase the risk of a heart attack.
• Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25 - 30 percent.
• Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing lung cancer by 20 - 30 percent.

5. The scientific evidence indicates that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.
Supporting Evidence
• Short exposures to secondhand smoke can cause blood platelets to become stickier, damage the lining of blood vessels, decrease coronary flow velocity reserves, and reduce heart rate variability, potentially increasing the risk of a heart attack.
• Secondhand smoke contains many chemicals that can quickly irritate and damage the lining of the airways. Even brief exposure can result in upper airway changes in healthy persons and can lead to more frequent and more asthma attacks in children who already have asthma.

6. Eliminating smoking in indoor spaces fully protects nonsmokers from exposure to secondhand smoke. Separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air, and ventilating buildings cannot eliminate exposures of nonsmokers to secondhand smoke.
Supporting Evidence
• Conventional air cleaning systems can remove large particles, but not the smaller
particles or the gases found in secondhand smoke.
• Routine operation of a heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system can
distribute secondhand smoke throughout a building.
• The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers
(ASHRAE), the preeminent U.S. body on ventilation issues, has concluded that ventilation technology cannot be relied on to control health risks from secondhand smoke exposure.

Citation
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006.


# 5. The scientific evidence indicates that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Is that clear enough, dumbshit?

And that's just one link out of about 120 studies. But now I guess you can argue about enforcement. You know, go from the Climate Change Denial tactic to the Gun Rights tactic.

Please tell us again what these studies you didn't even look at MEAN?
77
Sell your car. It puts toxic fumes in the air at a way higher rate than cigarettes. Good. Now hand over your dryer. Yes, the one you dry clothes in. Do you have any idea the amount of microparticles in the air leaving your vents, and that's not even taking into account aerosolized fabric softener. Right. Now take a shower with unscented soap. You want to wear perfume in the privacy of your own home? That's fine, but I don't need my allergies triggered by your body wash/shampoo/cologne/scented laundry detergent combo from ten feet away. Most of what's in those scents is nasty synthetic chemicals. We're also gonna need a ban on those neat little travel candles. Your right to a sandlewood scented beach meditation does not trump my kid's asthma. This is a great idea! I'm for it . . . But only as an omnibus package. All or nothing! Wait, come back. I thought you wanted clean air.
78
Passing restrictions on people means that those laws are supposed to be enforced. Who enforces these laws? The police. Lets see, we give our untrustworthy, often racist, police license to initiate (unfriendly) contact with people over THIS?
Sorry, until SPD solves its problems with cops abusing their authority we cannot afford to impose further restrictions on people. It's not please t, but cigarettes pose no immediate threat that is not already covered by the current smoking in parks restrictions.
Finally, doesn't our city have bigger problems to deal with. The fear of turning into a nanny stater is part of why I have a hard time quitting the nasty things. I'm about over that fear.
79
@77 God that's stupid. So go d damned stupid. Then we shouldn't regulate anything because, you know, there is always something else we don't have the will to regulate?

Besides cars are slightly more crucial to the economy than cigarettes, wouldn't you say?

And not everybody is allergic to a given soap or perfume, but an extremely high percentage of people will develop a lung disease eventually when exposed to enough smoke.

Christ. You idiots realize that tobacco companies have been in the way of nearly every major progressive social movement since the civil war.

You're just fine with handing them your money?

Tobacco companies funded the KKK. Tobacco companies lobbied against labor movements. Tobacco companies funded anti-civil rights politicians. Like Car companies, Tobacco companies ALSO lobby against climate change legislation. It's smokers that funded all that bullshit.

But. Jesus. Okay. Your stupid addiction is more important.

Christ. It's amazing how hypocritical SLOG liberals are. You guys want change. Well. As long as that doesn't effect YOU in any way.
80
@79, everything wrong with tobacco and the industry pedaling it does not justify further restrictions on individual liberties.
The laws as they currently stand already place reasonable limits on where in the parks people can and cannot smoke.
True liberalism, IMO, respects people's personal liberties. The nanny state is liberalism gone wrong.
81
The worst thing about liberals is their love of the nanny-state.

Show proof that smoking in parks more than 25' away from people harms anyone and I'd support this... otherwise it's just more bullshit, feel-good, holier-than-thou hypocrisy.
82
@76, The science on second-hand smoke exposure is based entirely upon indoor exposures in enclosed spaces. Go ahead and re-read what you just posted and pay attention to words like "indoors" and "homes" and "workplaces." They are important!

Exposure to airborne toxins is a direct function of their concentration, and concentration is a function of mass/volume. Air volume outside is much greater than indoors, hence data on indoor exposures is not directly applicable to outdoor exposures. This seems transparent to me but I'm an epidemiologist so I actually think about these things for a living.
83
Heidi: If I don't "Think this whole thing is bullshit" -- but rather think it's a brilliant idea -- may I send comments, too?
84
So the city that legalized weed is now going to micro-manage tobacco smokers? it's an unenforceable law. it's too easy to ignore, like banning dogs on beaches. A true progressive accepts that not everyone has identical priorities.
85
Can we all please stop pretending that the proposed ban has anything to do with anyone's health? We don't ban alcohol and marijuana in parks because it harms anyone's health. We ban them for more complicated reasons that have little to do with empirical studies, and everything to do with social preferences.

We ban alcohol and marijuana in public parks because we (as a society) consider them immoral, not because we think open-air alcohol or marijuana consumption is unscientific.
86
@82 Then you are one shitty, shitty "epidemiologist." I hope to Christ you think more clearly in what ever phony baloney lab you "work" at.

I thought the studies didn't say what I thought? Well. They said exactly what I said. And they are based on indoor second hand smoke, because, duh, that how you'd have to study 90% of smoking, isn't it, genius.

And the studies say ANY exposure to secondhand smoke - regardless of where - is associated with negative health outcomes.

Of course concentration matters. It's worse indoors. Way worse. But it's also an unnecessary risk outdoors - depending on proximity.

But that's not the point is it.

The point is being exposed when you don't have to be.

The point is that smoke and butts are pollutants.

The point is that butts spark god damned fires in public parks.

The point is.... you're an asshole that came out swinging talking bullshit and now you're in full retreat.
87
@84

The city that legalized weed absolutely does ban weed-smoking in public parks.
88
@84 Gun nuts say that gun legislation is '"unenforceable." It's stupid argument.

You can't enforce every breach of every law. No laws are 100% enforceable. If they were there would be no rapes and no murders.

The point is to discourage smoking in public parks because it damages parks, causes litter and is a danger to public health. The point is it will reduce maintenance costs and raise revenue with fines.

People that are scofflaws are going to be scofflaws anyway. But, say, if there was a fire caused by a cigarette butt that burned down trees in Golden Gardens you could then have rangers concentrate on that area and levy fines for a while.

To say it's enforceable is a silly straw man when nobody is claiming what level of enforcement there will be.
89
So I assume this will also apply to marijuana. That is an obnoxious oder.
90
You know, it occurs to me that the city and parks department have already solved this problem, but with regard to a far more divisive public behavior than mere cigarette smoking. So why not use the same solution?

I'm sure there's room for a few fenced, clearly marked and suitably equipped off-leash smoker parks in or around the city's existing park spaces.
91
@86, You seem really angry. You might not be if you took the time to understand what you're reading. My first comment specifically stated there is no evidence to support open-air smoking as a health threat to non-smokers and I still stand by that statement. It was even corroborated by the links you presented.

Anyway I'm not interested in trading insults so I'm all set here. Have fun.
92
And the argument that the law will discriminate disproportionately to homeless people is totally idiotic. In fact, if anything, you should be in favor of preventing homeless people from smoking. The health outcomes for them are so much worse. They are all ready at risk for chronic health problems that untreated lung disease would more often be fatal.

It blows me away you guys openly support one of the most evil and completely unnecessary industries on this planet without a second thought.

Fuck. At least oil is necessary. At least guns have some sort of useful function in the hands of trained professionals. At least heroin produces pleasure and can alleviate pain.

I smoked for 12 years. Tobacco creates tension that only it's own addiction temporarily alleviates. it' doesn't produce anything.

Smoking costs society billions of dollars and millions of lives every year. And it's all totally unnecessary.

This law infringes on no ones rights. People can still smoke all they want. Just not in public parks.
93
@91 Oh. Yeah. You're not interested in trading insults - except the opening lines of your first comment to me were - you know - total insults.

So. Fuck you. You started it. There were a million ways you could've presented your "thesis" if you weren't interested in being insulting.

And it doesn't matter. You're still wrong and you know it. MY thesis was ANY exposure to second hand smoke can be lead to negative health outcomes.

I never argued about concentrations or proximity or how much. That simply obvious. Only that the science PROVES that exposure second hand smoke is unhealthy. Regardless of indoors or outdoors.

And that, buddy, is a settled matter.

94
Oh. And BTW:

Exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke in outdoor settings a risk, study shows

"Some folks have expressed the opinion that exposure to outdoor tobacco smoke is insignificant, because it dissipates quickly into the air," said Neil Klepeis, assistant professor (consulting) of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford and lead author of the study. "But our findings show that a person sitting or standing next to a smoker outdoors can breathe in wisps of smoke that are many times more concentrated than normal background air pollution levels."


http://news.stanford.edu/news/2007/may9/…
95
Part of being in public is tolerating the behavior of other people, even if you don't agree with it.

If you are so offended by the sight of people smoking outdoors, even when it (according to most studies), does no harm to you, maybe you should just stay out of public places.
96
There's this irony in this kind of legislation in that it places the individual right to be absolutely free of any potential health risk or inconvenience above the right of all people to enjoy public spaces, yet is portrayed as progressive rather than neoliberal.
97
@94, key words in the study you sighted involve risks to those "standing next to smokers". The law as it exists prohibits smoking within 25' of other patrons (assuming they object). So we are dealing with a redundancy here.
Everything wrong with tobacco and the tobacco industry does not ad up to extending this ban being necessary.
We are overburdened with restrictions on our behavior, and we keep facing further erosions of our personal liberties, with the occasional token lifting of certain bans (like marijuana legalization). Since high school in the '80's, I have observed increased authoritarianism over our minuscule individual actions. It has to stop somewhere, and a good place to stop it is by opposing a redundant law that gives our corrupt police yet another excuse to but their noses in where they don't belong. All for an act that offers no IMMEDIATE threat to the well being of others.
Again, I say we have more pressing matters our government officials should be concerning themselves with. Deal with our transit, get on the ports ass for trying to sneak in the staging for arctic oil rigs, deal with our housing problem. This is a waste of time.
Most importantly, we need to learn to get along better. Part of that is not creating new prohibitions on those whose lifestyle choices you do not approve of, especially when those restrictions are based on exaggerations of the threat at hand.
Fuck the nanny state!
98
"even when it (according to most studies), does no harm to you"

@95 And what "studies" would those be exactly? I just linked to several that say precisely the opposite.

And it's not only second hand smoke's indisputable negative impact on human health that is at issue. There is the pollution of discarded butts being toxic to wildlife and of course the potential fire hazards.

One tolerates public behavior that doesn't threaten the well being of others and is not a hazard to damaging public spaces. Smoking in parks both damages public property and a is danger to others.

When public parks can barely get any funding as it is you think it's okay to allow people to pollute, litter, and do unintentional arson in our parks?

It's basically like allowing camp fires in parks. Are you okay with that?

it precisely the right of EVERYONE to enjoy public spaces that this ban addresses. Not JUST smokers. Smokers don't HAVE to smoke.

99
Ex-smokers are the most annoying screamers against smoking.
100
@97 the 25 foot rule applies to outside businesses that cater to the public - like bars etc.
Not parks.
101
@93

"So. Fuck you. You started it."

"And it doesn't matter. You're still wrong and you know it."