On Monday, February 12th, there was a city council meeting in Bellevue, Nebraska. Before the meeting commenced, one very hot topic was scratched from the agenda of the meeting: smoking bans.
A lot of attention has been put on this issue in recent years. In 2009, a law was passed to ban smoking in workplaces, bars and restaurants. The name of this act was the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act of 2009.
In 2016, a regulation was proposed to ban smoking and propane grills in apartments in Bellevue. The proposal had come after two major fires in residential buildings that were caused by cigarettes. The proposal was voted down.
On Monday, the city council was going to discuss whether or not smoking should be banned in parks. The residents in Bellevue are split about this issue. Some people think that smoking should be banned, while others are not so sure.
Should smoking be banned in parks? The answer to this question is not so clear cut. Telling people to not smoke in indoor places makes a lot of sense. After all, healthy people who don’t smoke should not be trapped in smoke-filled dungeons every time they want to go to a bar, a restaurant or a workplace. People who smoke are choosing to do something that is ruining their health, and those who don’t smoke should not be forced to breathe smoke in enclosed spaces. Indoor spaces are known for trapping harmful secondary and tertiary smoke.
The debate gets tricky when we are talking about wide, open, outdoor spaces like parks. If a person smokes in a park, people who are within close proximity may be forced to inhale the carcinogens coming out of that cigarette. The smoke may bother some people. On the other hand, shouldn’t smokers have the right to smoke in parks?