As of Monday, Feb. 1 2016, smoking will be banned in all city of Ann Arbor parks except for three: Cobblestone Farms and city golf courses Huron Hills and Leslie Park. This is an extension of Ordinance 14-03, a smoking ban that was first implemented a year ago in 77 parks.
The ban prohibits the use of cigarettes, cigars, pipes and e-cigarettes in city parks and playgrounds. Park authorities decided to extend the ban after positive public reception to the ban, which initially covered about half of the159 parks in the city parks system.
“The ban on smoking has, overall, been well received by parks users over the past year,” said Colin Smith, city of Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation services manager in a press release. “With close to all city parks now becoming smoke free, we will be better equipped than ever to provide clean, safe and healthy facilities for our park users to enjoy.”
The ban aims to achieve no-smoking compliance through education and warnings. Necessary signage will be placed at the 159 parks to inform park users of the ban. City Parks and Recreation staff may also be on-site to issue reminders of smoking restrictions. Nonetheless, cases of non-compliance will be handled by the Ann Arbor Police Department. Per the ordinance, citizens who refuse to comply could face up to a $25 fine.
The ban’s expansion in Ann Arbor is aligned with a nationwide push for smoke-free parks. Currently, more than 1,200 municipal park systems in the United States are smoke-free. This includes Long Beach, Chicago and New York City. Within Michigan, the municipalities of Traverse City, Howell and Huntington Woods have implemented similar lawsto ban smoking in their city parks.