County Parks Could Go Tobacco-Free

EUGENE, Ore. — A public health discussion about stomping out cigarettes at all Lane County parks and buildings gets under way Wednesday night.

Health and human services staff say they already received a lot of feedback from both sides of the issue.

When we spoke with park visitors Tuesday, many wondered how the county would enforce the ban.

A department spokesman says the agency isn’t developing any ideas until it gets the public’s take on it.

“This meeting will aid us in figuring out what the public thinks and really is just the beginning of the conversation,” said Health & Human Services spokesperson Jason Davis.

Wednesday night’s meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the Lane County Juvenile Justice Center, located at 2727 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.


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  1. Park Visitor says:

    Our family is hoping there will be a ban on smoking. We have several children, some with disabilities, some also have allergies/asthma, etc. We also love animals, and often see squirrals (sp!!), ducks, etc. trying to eat the cigarette butts. We usually carry a trash bag to pick up trash, and there are always many cigarette butts. We feel the parks, etc. should have clean air, clean grounds, so that humans and animals can enjoy the parks, etc. People could be encouraged to take a picture of the smoker. We have done that, and usually the other person turns their back, and at least goes somewhere else. Sometimes, we approach the person if we feel we and they can safely/politely discuss the issue. We believe people who can smoke can enjoy the parks without smoking, but it is hard for non-smokers to enjoy a rest on a bench, when there are smokers behind them, AND animals do not need to be exposed to human’s cigarette butts. AND…second hand smoke is very dangerous to others. I am a breast cancer survivor, I did nothing wrong to get cancer, I did not expose others to cancer, but a cigarette smoker will ruin their lungs, and that will increase even health insurance. It always brings a tear to my eye, when I see people smoke, I wish I could have stopped something that caused my cancer, it wasn’t “fun” having surgery, having chemo and feeling the pain when walking, or severe stomach pains, and then having to have radiation. It was very costly, even though we had private insurance. I guess that enough for now…

    1. Ted says:

      Your concerns are unfounded. Outdoors, secondhand smoke is no more dangerous to other people than the other outdoor air particulate matter. You are already inhaling pollens, molds, ozone, volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxide, and thousands of other materials. The secondhand smoke disperses immediately when exhaled, and is fairly benign compared to the other materials.

      The 1993 EPA report “Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking: Lung Cancer and Other Disorders” was found to be grossly inaccurate and unscientific. A Congressional Research Service analysis from 1995 had serious reservations about the EPA report. Evidence overwhelmingly showed that the EPA had “cherry picked” its data and had manipulated “scientific procedure and scientific norms” in order to push the agency’s preconceived idea that passive smoking caused 3,000 deaths a year. The court also ruled that the EPA had violated the Radon Act, which was the agency’s own authority for disseminating its “de facto regulatory scheme” that intended to prohibit passive smoking.

      When people legally able to use a legal, nonprescription, freely sold product are banned from using the product outdoors on public property, it is a clear violation of their rights.

    2. Paradise97401 says:

      So as long as you drive a car you put my health at risk, when you turn on a light you put my life at risk, when you drink and drive same thing..so where do you think we should stop at this?
      Sorry about your health issues, but i’m sure you didn’t pick it up from a bench in a park or 3000 feet from the camping that smoked.
      You know i’m sure that if this were aimed at race, well this wouldn’t even be a topic..so because people smoke they should be banned from areas that they pay taxes to keep? does that sound right to you? I’m sure you do something that is not good for you, nor the inviroment..
      I am pretty sure that alcohol kills as many..but it just does it faster!
      Besides Lane County has enough issues with keeping people locked up, this is just another way to leverage more money, so who gets to pay for this? and as far as the animals, you going to follow them to make sure they don’t eat the wrong things?
      I grew up with parents that smoke, in a age that everyone did..and well pretty much everywhere. But then we didn’t have guns in schools, video games, computers or smart phones..how did we survive! without politicians telling us how to live, I feel lucky to be alive!

  2. Bill McCoy says:

    Law enforcement is staffed to stop people from smoking pot in the parks or anywhere else you might go, how will they be able to stop smokers?

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