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Politics & Government

Pittsburgh Council Considers Smoking Ban in City Playgrounds

A bill in Pittsburgh City Council would prohibit smoking in the playground areas of city-owned parks.

The legislation from Council Members Rev. Ricky Burgess, Corey O'Connor, and Bruce Kraus was held for two weeks on Wednesday so Council could get an opinion from Michael Radley, the Director of Citiparks, before passing the measure.

Councilman Burgess called it a common sense regulation.

"Smoking around our children is absolutely unacceptable," said Burgess. "Secondhand smoke not only potentially takes their life, but it either causes secondary respiratory illnesses or exasperates symptoms in children who already have respiratory illnesses."

The bill would ban tobacco products only in the "play areas" of city parks, not across the entire facility, according to Councilman O'Connor. The smoking ban would be advertised by signage donated by the advocacy group Tobacco Free Allegheny.

Council President Darlene Harris, a smoker herself, said the city shouldn't stop at a ban on cigarettes.

"Our playgrounds are being utilized for drugs and alcohol after hours," said Harris. "I would really like to talk about adding that to the sign to show that it's any drugs or any alcohol being utilized in our parks."

The bill will be up for discussion again on March 13.