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Commissioners discuss tobacco ban in Ironwood city parks


The city of Ironwood in the Upper Peninsula could soon join a handful of Michigan cities that ban smoking in city parks.

On Monday, city commissioners met to discuss a proposal that would ban all tobacco use in Ironwood city parks.

Many commissioners agree that banning tobacco use in parks is the best way to eliminate second-hand smoke around playgrounds and other areas where children play.

But the proposal is not without criticism.

Keith A. Johnson co-chairs the Festival Ironwood committee. He says it is unrealistic to manage a tobacco ban throughout all the city's parks because many of the parks are extremely large.

"When you start looking at the size of these parks such as Norrie Park being 90 acres in size, how are we going to control or how are we going to patrol, the use of the tobacco throughout the parks," Johnson said. "That's what we are concerned about."

Johnson says right now, "public safety officials have a lot more important things to take care of than tobacco use in all our parks."

Commissioners will continue discussing the ban during their January 28 meeting.

-Lindsay Hall, Michigan Radio Newsroom

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