City seeks to ban outdoor smoking


City leaders in Central Falls on Wednesday approved an outdoor smoking ban in certain public places.

The plan would ban smoking at school grounds, playgrounds, athletic fields, and other areas where public events are held for children and senior citizens.

“What a way to mark a bright future for our youth. This is all about healthy living; healthy choices,” said Central Falls Wellness Manager Vernia Carter.

Advocates claim smoke and cigarette butts pose a problem.

“Little kids pick them up from the parks and playgrounds, ingest them and get poisoned,” said Karina Wood.

The ban would impose fines from $100 to $500 for offenders, but the ban isn’t popular with some smokers.

Barbara Humes said she understands a ban in places around kids, but thinks this goes too far.

“It’s ridiculous. It’s outside. They want you to smoke 100 feet away from buildings. How much more are they going to stop you from doing? Next thing you know, you won’t be able to smoke in your own house,” Humes said.

Even some smoking ban supporters urge caution.

“I’m pleased if no one ever smoked. The only thing I want to point out is we don’t step on anybody’s liberties. I agree we shouldn’t smoke around kids and around seniors,” said Edna Poulin. 

The ban has to be approved by the city’s receiver before taking effect.

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