NORMAN — Smoking in public parks is unhealthy, unsightly and sets a bad example for youth, city officials say. Because of its adverse effect on others, city council members have asked city staff members to draft an ordinance banning cigarette smoking and other types of tobacco use in public parks.
Banning smoking and the use of other tobacco products in parks is becoming more common in cities, Parks and Recreation Director Jud Foster said. In Oklahoma, Noble has an ordinance banning smoking at public events. The city of Owasso bans smoking and other types of tobacco use in public parks. Two years ago, a proposed ban on the use of tobacco products in public parks failed to garner enough support among council members to get included in the city’s tobacco use policies. Councilman Doug Cubberley thinks the ban failed then largely because it included a ban on tobacco use at Westwood Golf Course. This time around, he favors making an exception for the golf course. "I think there has to be some political compromise. I would rather see an ordinance pass that contains an exception for the golf course than have no ordinance at all,” Cubberley said.