Committee sends smoking ban to Atlanta's City Council
A ban on smoking in Atlanta parks — a wide-ranging prohibition that would cover playgrounds, athletic fields, aquatic areas, tennis courts, golf courses, walking trails and playgrounds — came closer to reality on Tuesday.
After a string of high school students, nonprofit workers and hospital executives spoke in support of the ban, a committee of Atlanta's City Council voted 4-1 to send the ordinance to the full City Council for consideration as soon as Monday. City Councilman Howard Shook of Buckhead voted against it.
It would take effect immediately if the council approves it and Mayor Kasim Reed signs it. The city's Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs pushed for the measure with Reed's blessing. The ordinance eventually collected support from key legislators.
David Wardell, vice president of operations and public safety for the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, said the downtown group supported the ban. As much as a gallon of cigarette butts are littered in Woodruff Park every day, and 4,500 college students per hour walk through the downtown park at peak times, Wardell said.