Syracuse Council to Ban Smoking in the Downtown

Smoking

Council members of Syracuse city, New York, want to establish smoke-free zones on several blocks of downtown.

There was introduced no law banning outdoor smoking, therefore Councilors Bob Dougherty and Khalid Bey proposed to ban outdoor smoking in an area starting from the Everson Museum of Art to the Hotel Syracuse.

Now lawyers must say within the two weeks their word on how practical or impractical the proposal is before deciding whether to suggest the ordinance to the full city council.

The council’s health committee includes representatives fromTobacco Free Onondaga County, the American Cancer Society and the YMCA. Bey and Dougherty support the idea of a smoke-free zone and they are serious about it.

Several county workers taking cigarette breaks outside the Onondaga County Civic Center did not accept the idea seriously and they even made fun of it saying the idea transforms the New York in a communist state. One of them said that no one can tell him he cannot smoke outdoors.

For example, Ithaca three years ago banned smoking at the Ithaca Commons, a pedestrian mall on a public street.

The ordinance was adopted in 2010, and was modified several times after that. Its final version bans smoking near playgrounds, in certain areas of city parks, on three-block Commons, child-care centers and schools. Kris Lewis, operations manager of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance, says they are quite familiar with that.
Smoke-free zone proposal in Ithaca has been accepted by most people, although there were some problems during the introduction. For example, smokers moved to smoke in unanticipated areas, such as in front of a toy store.

The Ithaca ordinance introduces a $75 fine for violations, if smoker has been ticketed. However, in most cases police officers just tell smokers to stop smoking.

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