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4/3/2012 6:01:00 AM
Council will consider request to ban smoking in Kingman parks
AHRON SHERMAN/MinerCigarette butts can be found throughout the Walleck Ranch Neighborhood Park. Here, two butts sit inches from the park’s playground.

Cigarette butts can be found throughout the Walleck Ranch Neighborhood Park. Here, two butts sit inches from the park’s playground.

Ahron Sherman
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - "You can't even smoke cigarettes on Earth anymore," said comedian Cedric the Entertainer in 2000's "The Original Kings of Comedy."

This line, which is followed by a cigarette-regulation bit, was a response to California's - and subsequently the nation's - crackdown on public smoking. Although most state bans on public smoking deal with enclosed buildings, throughout the last decade several cities have elected to ban smoking outside, too. For example, San Diego banned cigarette use on its beaches and in its parks in 2006. Nearly 600 municipalities across the country prohibit smoking in their parks.

Arizona passed the Smoke Free Arizona Act in 2007, which made it illegal to smoke in enclosed workplaces as well as within 20 feet of such establishments.

About a month ago, representatives of the Kingman Youth Coalition Beating Up Teen Tobacco approached the Kingman City Council and asked for the city to look into prohibiting smokers from lighting up in city parks.

They presented the results from a survey of more than 100 people that showed there is a level of support for banning smoking in parks. They also showed a 15-item list, which outlined reasons for a ban, that included tidbits such as, "A critical part of addressing youth smoking is to create an environment where tobacco use is not considered the norm," and, "Kids should be able to play without being directly exposed to the harmful effects of secondhand smoke."

Once the KYCBUTT members were through speaking, they unveiled several bins filled to the brims with cigarette butts, which were collected at city parks in an hour of work.

Along with their request for the city to prohibit smoking in local parks, they made it clear that KYCBUTT would fundraise to pay for signage - should Kingman enact a no-smoking ordinance.

City staff looked into the feasibility of KYCBUTT's request.

Currently, only one city in Arizona - Goodyear - enforces a ban on smoking in city parks. According to Council's agenda, Goodyear doesn't have a direct prohibition on smoking in their ordinance. It enforces its ban administratively, meaning that someone caught smoking in a Goodyear city park is asked by park staff to put out his cigarette or leave the park. If he fails to comply with the request, he can be arrested for trespassing.

The Kingman City Attorney's Office is concerned with the enforcement aspect of a potential ban on city-park smoking, and asks that Council provide direction regarding the issue at today's meeting.

In other business, Council will look at the special events permitting process. Confusion has risen, as it often does, regarding the types of events exempt from a special event permit.

Currently, there is an exemption for any event that already has a park permit and takes place strictly within the confines of a park. City staff has interpreted that the exemption applies only to non-commercial events, but the Kingman city code doesn't explicitly say that.

So, in order to clear things up, staff has prepared an amendment, which adds the phrase "non-commercial" to the exemption stipulation within Kingman's special event permit regulations.

Lastly, Council will consider starting the process to reduce the number of members sitting on the Clean City Commission from nine to seven, as the commission has experienced difficulty gathering a quorum. In that same vein, Council will most likely approve an ordinance that reduces the amount of commissioners on the Tourism Development Commission from nine to seven. The difference here is that TDC requested that chance at a previous meeting, and the CCC is requesting the change today.

Council meets at 5:30 p.m. today at 310 N. Fourth St.

ICT - Mohave Electric WI_Power Boy 233x388
Related Stories:
• Kingman parks get smoker-friendly
• Council not ready to ban smoking in Kingman parks
• Kingman students work to snuff tobacco use

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Article comment by: Library Patron

Although I'm extremely surprised that all the local "patriots" tolerate the government-sponsored socialized book ownership program currently infiltrating Mohave County, and I'm sure none of them would ever consider actually reading one of the items contained in that cauldron of socialism, I decided that I would patronize the Kingman library. Unfortunately, I had to hold my breath to get in the library because the benches in front of the door were occupied by teenagers sitting and smoking. The security guard sitting inside seems like a pleasant fellow perhaps he could do something about the smokers causing problems for those of us who like to breathe.

Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Article comment by: Fomer Smoker

As a smoker for almost 20 years, smoking at local parks shouldn't have to be an enforced law, it should just be assumed that it shouldn't happen.

However, in dealing with Kingman's finest, they figure the only way for civilization to be civilized, is by passing laws.

It doesn't matter if you're a parent of a child at the park or a passerby, you shouldn't smoke in a place that has kids around...end of story.
Smoke in the car, smoke in your home, but the parks, come on. And as far as unconstitutional, give me a break. It's publicly funded and city owned property. Just because taxpayers front the bill doesn't mean squat. We fund city hall, doesn't mean I can light up there.

I don't smoke around people's kids, just as I expect others not to smoke around mine.
Stupid laws, such as this, are developed because of stupid people.

And the trash continues to blow in and around Kingman.

Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Article comment by: A B

az mac,
You are right.

Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Article comment by: desert dweller

How many clowns on here saying "here, here" have a marijuana cigarette hanging out of their mouth?

Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Article comment by: patty hertz

it sounds more like a litter problem than a smoking problem. Like it matters, one will not be anymore enforced than the other anyway.

Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Article comment by: az mac

People do you realize that the bans helped kill property rights. They are unconstitutional. The high taxes and the bans have given the government permission to raise taxes on anything they want to and to ban any thing they want to. Not about health it is about control and money. The drug companies buy these bans, I can say the county will make money off doing these bans. The drug companies made billions off ignorant people last year. Just because you dislike something you are willing to give up your freedom to get rid of it. Sounds very stupid to me. The more bans and high taxes the bigger the world wide black market gets, more crime. More taxes for you to fight this crime and enforce the bans. The bans and high taxes makes China billions each year in selling black market cigarettes. Just another way the people of this country support China. They use the money to build up their military. They now have the largest Navy and Army in the world. The bans have cost thousands of business to go under and tens of thousands to lose their jobs both smokers and non smokers.
Lets keep supporting all the things that is killing our country. What ignorant people do. What made Rome fall and Hitler a dictator? Ignorant people.
People you better wake up now because by the end of this year it will be to late. Party time is about over. Our dollar is expected to crash any time after June of this year.
Did you know Hitler started with smoking bans. They are a good way to get people used to being controlled. If people do not fight back then they know they can do any thing and get by with it.

Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Article comment by: Bound & Unfree

The land of the un-free and the home of the enslaved. Good old America! Uncle Sam my master oh how I love to work all day only to give you more and more of my wages. Federal Income tax, State Income tax, Sales tax, Property tax, social security tax, Medicare tax, Registration tax, Restaurant and bar tax, Hotel bed tax, Alcohol and Tabaco tax, Gas tax, FHA mortgage insurance tax. All so you can make more rules and tell more people what to do..

Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Article comment by: Desert Angel

They banned cigarette smoking in apartments where we live. I see nothing wrong with banning them in the park where children are supposed to play and be happy. Stay in your car and stink it up all you want, and keep the ash trays full until you get home. We don't need to look at your dirty habits all over the place. If you have to have a nasty habit, do it to your own risk, not the children in the park.

Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Article comment by: How about a Suggestion?

Maybe a sign suggesting that people didn't smoke where and when children were present would be better tolerated than an outright ban on smoking in taxpayer funded public parks?

I don't smoke. Never have and never plane to. I remember watching my son play little league baseball downtown and having to breathe 2nd hand smoke from those that were partaking all around me. I didn't complain, I just moved to a more hospitable area.

Keep banning everything and pretty soon we will have no freedoms at all.

Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Article comment by: truth teller

The teacher said to the class,"get a container with any alcohol,and put a worm in it,and it will die.Put it in cigarette butt jar and the worm will also the worm in a jar with earth and it will live,what does that tell you kids?" A student replies..."err..that if you drink and smoke,you won't get worms?"

Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Article comment by: ROBERT JONES


Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Article comment by: Just a Thought

Are these butts from smokers in the park? Or could they be from smokers driving by and throwing their butts out of the windows of their cars and the wind blowing them into the park?

Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Article comment by: Lynn Crane

I applaud KCYBUTT for the effort! I would love to be able to go to a park and not have to breathe in the second-hand smoke. As it is, my wife and I have breathing issues and don't even use our own front yard when our smoking neighbors are out and about. We gave up going to many outside events in and around town due to secondhand smoke. I'm so glad that we can now go into ANY restraunt in town thanks to the smoking ban. People used to say, this place or that had good food but when there was smoking, we couldn't go. We had to choose between breathing or supporting the eating businesses. Those who DON"T have breathing issues and are able to tolerate second-hand smoke have no idea what it would mean for us to be able to go to a park and be free to breathe!
Yes, hard to enforce but wow it would be great.

Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Article comment by: A Mother

As a mom I can't tell you how many times I have had to remove my son and I from our seat on the bleachers because someone decided to sit right next to us, and light up a cigarette. They never gave a second thought the fact their second hand smoke was blowing into my son's face. Go ahead and be a smoker, but when your disgusting smoke blows in my direction and I have to breathe it then it becomes a problem. If you were considerate and smoked away from myself and children I would say puff away!

Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Article comment by: Rick O'Shae

I have one, how about banning obese people from eating at restaurants, this is clearly sending the wrong message to our youth that it's OK to overindulge yourself with food. there are many confirmed studies that show obesity is not healthy, I bet one could find 500 people that are offended by the overly obese and would support this. I would also like to see the ban include obese women that wear skimpy or skin tight clothes. Sounds ridiculous, then look at some of the laws and ordinances in Arizona that are out there: " Cards may not be played in the street with a Native American", "It is illegal to smoke cigarettes within 15 feet of a public place unless you have a Class 12 liqueur license", "An ordinance prohibits the wearing of suspenders", and the best Arizona ordinance, "It is illegal for men and women over the age of 18 to have less than one missing tooth visible when smiling, have a nice day and try a little common sense for a change.

Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Article comment by: Lisa Simpson

I support banning smoking in Kingman parks 100%.
I hate seeing parents with a cigarette dangling from their mouths while they are standing around the playground equipment at the park. Cigarette smoke smells disgusting and if you can smell it, you can bet that the smell is now on your clothes and in your hair. Not to mention the possible effects that the second hand smoke can have on you and your kids.

Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Article comment by: Billi Jo Jenney

I think they really need to go after the DRUGS !!!!! and all the people who go to bars and drink and then get in there cars and drive !!!!!!!

Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Article comment by: I Support KYCBUTT's Request

I use the parks and don't want to be subject to the stink, second-hand smoke and the filthy butts. I hope the council will support this request but I will bet it won't have the nerve to.

Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Article comment by: desert dweller

I smoked for many, many years...I don't now and haven't for 10 years or more, the smell of smoke in a confined place is nauseating to me now..not sure why? But all that said..this socialism crap has to stop...this city council is as communist as the moron in the white house and if you want the revolution to start here...just keep up with the california BS!

Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Article comment by: Jim Consolato

Gosh, the cost of a good cigar will be going up. The glass tube the cigar comes in will have to be big enough for the smoker to step inside and seal himself off from the world. How about something reasonable like not 100 feet from play grounds.

From an economic standpoint I guess the city thinks it can make more money ticketing tourist who stop , stretch there legs or relax in a park and light up a smoke. Kingman would do so much better if we welcomed tourists with a reputation of being a safe and friendly town.

Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Article comment by: Knowledge is Power

First, I had to laugh with regards to the writer that was concerned that only 100 people would be answering for 1,000’s of people here in Kingman. All hundred of those people surveyed were at the parks and ball fields, people that actually use these facilities. Nor do all of the 1000’s of Kingman residents use the parks and ball fields. The 100 surveys is only a sample which is a quick way to gauge interest/concerns.
Further, did you notice the number of voters that actually just voted in the primary and made the decisions for all of those 1000’s of people.

21,612 residents (voter-age), 15,966 registered voters (74% of pop),
2931 voted (18 % of registered voters) (KDM data source)

Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Article comment by: Donna W.

I agree with cutter that it makes more sense to enforce littering laws than try to enforce a ban on smoking.

Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Article comment by: Bob Kane

Sure, smoking is bad for your health, and makes you and your clothes all stinky... but it makes you look so dang cool! I will admit, it's hard to start.

Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Article comment by: John Armstrong

Again does Kingman Youth Coalition Beating Up Teen Tobacco consider the consequences of their proposal?

They are willing to pay for the signs, but how do we pay to enforce the new law if their is no tax monies being collected on cigarette sales if legally-aged teens/adults aren't smoking?

Smoking in the parks is certainly not the worst air pollution going on. My family is more effected by dust, pollen, car exhaust and grass clippings combined than smoke when it comes to breathing clean air there.

I am glad that Kingman youth are active in making our community better. Just remember to consider how your efforts will affect others beyond your cause.

Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Article comment by: Park User

I think that the "I hate Government control" people are missunderstanding this article. First of all if you do not even use the parks why are you wasting your time complaining about it? Oh wait, because that is what you do about everything. Second there is not cost to the taxpayers did you see that somewhere, because I didn't. The youth are planning to pay for the signs and educate the public for those who don't already know that smoking around children is not good for them. Lastly, this ordinance is not about telling people they can not smoke, it is about keeping our children safe from the exposure to second hand smoke and hazardous tobacco litter.

Every parent should want a safe and healthy environment for their kids to play in, which is what the parks are intended for.

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