The city of Allegan has banned tobacco use in Jaycee Park and part of Hanson Park. “Both of those particular parks have playground equipment, so these are specific areas for smaller children,” City Manager-Clerk Robert Hillard said of the reason for the tobacco ban. “There was an identified goal earlier in the year to look at our smoking policies on city outdoor policies,” he said. Hanson is one of several riverfront parks that blend together. Hillard said there will be a sign at the affected area. According to the resolution adopted by the council, the use of tobacco is the most preventable cause of death and disease in the United States, leading to more deaths than AIDS, alcohol, illegal drugs, motor vehicle accidents, firearms, murders, suicides and fires. Secondhand smoke, cigarette butts and tobacco spit may be hazardous to people and animals, it said.
“Tobacco use,” the resolution said, “in and around public parks and recreational facilities may create circumstances where young people, while being encouraged and coached by adults to do things beneficial to their health, are observing adults and older youth using tobacco products and/or are adversely affected as the result of exposure to secondhand smoke and spit saliva.”
The vote was 5-2, with Rachel McKenzie and Charles Tripp voting against the ban.