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Oregon state parks may curb smokers by 2014

Jan 15, 2013 | 5 Comments


By The Associated Press

SALEM — The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is drawing up rules that could limit smokers to their personal and recreational vehicles.

The department's staff is working on proposals in expectation of getting them adopted by early 2014, the Salem Statesman Journal reported Tuesday.

The general recommendation from the staff is to permit smoking only in personal vehicles and RVs, said Chris Havel, a state parks spokesman.

An order from Gov. John Kitzhaber went into effect this month banning smoking and chewing tobacco along the perimeter of most state offices.

The governor's order gives some agencies, such as the parks department, until next year to write rules. The state Parks and Recreation Commission has to approve rule changes suggested by staffers. To follow the spirit of the governor's order, however, new restrictions on tobacco use at parks are almost a given.

“People can expect that something is going to come of this,” Havel said.

The rules would apply to a T-shaped area around the Capitol that the department manages, he said.

“We'd handle that area the same way we handle any other state park,” Havel said.

They also would apply to the state fairgrounds, year round and not just during the Oregon State Fair, he said.

Park rangers have the authority to cite visitors who violate the rules, but it's more common for them simply to ask for compliance, Havel said.

Local jurisdictions have also been working to curb smoking in parks. Around Salem, Stayton and Independence have approved smoke-free rules in city parks. In Dallas, the town's largest park has a designated smoking area, and other parks officially are smoke free.

In Salem itself, City Council member Diana Dickey proposed two years ago to make it unlawful to “smoke or carry any burning smoking instrument while in any park.” Councilors voted down the ordinance.

“Some of the councilors felt it was a freedom issue,” Dickey said. Concerns also were raised about the ability to enforce no-smoking rules.

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Information from: Statesman Journal, http://www.statesmanjournal.com

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Comments

02:01 pm - Tue, January 15 2013
Dances with Redwoods said:
As a tobacco smoker myself, I do understand and respect the reasoning behind a ban on 'smoking' on ..or.. inside of public property. What I fail to understand is the reasoning of a ban on all tobacco products, such as chew, snuff or 'dip' ... as smokeless use is not harmful to anyone but the user.

There is no second hand danger to others that I am aware of. No transference of carcinogens nor nuisance offensive odor's to complain about. Why exactly are smokeless tobacco products being banned from use on park grounds ..or.. within public buildings?

05:35 pm - Tue, January 15 2013
troy prouty said:
Let me take a guess.

If they allow the use of those things, they are basically saying "it is okay to use that product". By banning it, they are taking a stand that they believe it to be harmful to someone (including one's self) and that is not okay.

They have anti tobacco campaigns and they also realize that several people who smoke or have tobacco "issues"b end up with some form of medical cost that often the state picks up at some time through their life.

That said, it seems a little annoying that you can't smoke many places. Bars that use to allow it and was perfect for a cigar (no more) and now they are saying "not around this campfire".. so.. I'm not to happy about it.. yet I rarely smoke (once or twice a year).

troy prouty*
06:35 am - Wed, January 16 2013
Dances with Redwoods said:
It's a nasty habit, that's for sure. Maybe if there was a law limiting the amount tobacco intake per person per day there wouldn't be so much illness and death attributed to it.

Perhaps if tobacco products could only be obtained by way of pharmaceutical prescription from a doctor, and Pharmacist's being the only source of the product there might not be so much illness and death. Wouldn't you agree?

07:03 am - Wed, January 16 2013
Dances with Redwoods said:
With Obamacare in place and now the law of the land, tobacco use on an individual level, could and probably should be monitored. People would still have a choice to use, yet be prevented access once it has been determined that an individual has become a danger to themself.

This is already done with firearms, why not tobacco products?
07:22 am - Wed, January 16 2013
Dances with Redwoods said:
That being said, the mentally ill suffer from a disproportionately higher rate of addiction to nicotine than do the mentally healthy.Clearly, should pharmacists be the only legal source of tobacco products, it would be easier to deny the mentally ill access to those products.

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