The issue of whether to allow smoking in Lacey parks will come before the Lacey City Council during a work session Thursday.
So far, there has been a difference of opinion about how to handle smoking in the city’s park system. Lacey’s parks board supports creating designated areas, while at least one member of the City Council’s general government committee supports an outright ban on smoking and smoking-related products and methods, such as vaping.
Lacey Mayor Andy Ryder, chairman of the general government committee, told The Olympian last week that he supports a ban.
The city took up the issue of smoking in its parks after a woman complained about people smoking near her children at Long Lake Park in June. The parks board recommended creating a designated area, and that strategy was used successfully at Long Lake, according to the city. The Regional Athletic Complex also has a designated smoking area, and users of Huntamer Park are asked to smoke outside the park during concerts there.
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The general government committee members were briefed on the park board’s recommendation and discussed it, but worried that “smoking in designated areas of Lacey’s parks could be confusing to the public.”
Smoking in parks is banned by a number of Western Washington cities, including Olympia. Its smoking ban took effect Jan. 1 in parks and on trails. The ban includes cigarettes, cigars, tobacco, e-cigarettes and all other vaping devices. Using chewing tobacco is allowed.
The Lacey City Council meets at 7 p.m. Thursday at Lacey City Hall, 420 College St. SE.