Marquette City Commission votes to prohibit smoking at parks and beaches

Commissioners say the amendment is a great benefit to public health.
Smoking cigarettes is prohibited at all public parks and beaches.
Smoking cigarettes is prohibited at all public parks and beaches.(WLUC)
Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 9:49 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - In a 7 – 0 vote, the Marquette City Commission passed an amendment to an existing smoking ordinance on October 26.

The amendment prohibits smoking at all city-owned parks and beaches. Exceptions can be made for special events with a permit.

The commission debated including bike paths in the amendment as well, but ultimately decided further information was needed to make a decision.

Commission members stated the amendment will be a great benefit for public health.

“It’s the best leap forward the City of Marquette will have made for public health that I can ever remember,” said Commissioner Frederick Stonehouse.

Commissioner Evan Bonsall added, “Although it may be an inconvenience for some residents, I think that the public benefits to the entire community far outweigh those inconveniences.”

City Police Chief Blake Rieboldt spoke about enforcement of the updated ordinance, saying the process would begin with making smokers aware of the changes.

“We’ll work with staff to formulate ways in which we think enforcement would be good,” Rieboldt said. “Obviously education, and king of an easy soft opening so to speak, would be our main goal right now.”

A section of the ordinance requiring signage in public places was removed. The commission determined it was unnecessary due to state law already requiring “no smoking” signs in those locations.

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