Outdoor smoking regulations

Ever have to walk through a cloud of cigarette smoke to get to where you are going? Or wait for a bus in a smoke-filled shelter?

Those are some of the complaints I’ve been hearing from constituents lately, which is why I’m working to draft an ordinance that would prohibit smoking:

  • near business entrances;
  • at public transit boarding and waiting areas; and
  • within designated areas of City parks.

The first two of these are already covered by Washtenaw County regulations, but only the County Health Officer is empowered to enforce it.

The third is based on concerns I’ve heard about smoking in parks, especially in Sculpture Plaza Park where the nearby businesses have been directly affected. I recently received an email from a constituent who used to have her office overlooking Sculpture Plaza Park, but she had to relocate when smoking increased in the park.

That said, the ordinance would only enable the administrator to declare areas of parkland to be smoke free. It would not require that he do so (though at a minimum I think our playgrounds should be smoke free), and if he did he would not need to declare all park land to be smoke free. The goal is to  allow for nuance and nimbleness in implementation.

These are the policy outlines so far, and I welcome your input to help improve the process. Please email me at [email protected], use the contact form, or call my cell phone at: 734-972-8304.