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Smoking Ban Debate Begins

EUGENE, Ore. — The debate has begun over eliminating smoking at all public parks and county buildings.

Lane County Health and Human Services opened the policy discussions at a town hall meeting Wednesday night. About a dozen people showed up for the meeting.

The health department first gave information about the dangers and cost of smoking, and then it was the public’s turn to weigh in.

Some expressed concern about the proposal. They argued it imposed on civil liberties. Others say the policy just feels wrong.

“It’s just the campground thing. That’s pretty bad when you’ve got a fire ring and you can’t sit around the fire ring and smoke a cigarette,” said smoker Curt Everett.

“This is not a policy change. This is talking about the feasibility and the likelihood of a decision like this,” said Health and Human Services spokesman Jason Davis.

Health and human services says this is just the first of many town hall discussions about eliminating smoking at county-owned parks and buildings. There is no word on when or if the new policy could go into effect.

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