CLEAR LAKE, Iowa — Officials in Clear Lake are considering banning smoking at the city’s parks and beaches.

Many Clear Lake residents support the ban because of health issues related to secondhand smoke and the litter smokers leave behind, the Globe Gazette reported .

Resident Aimee Medellin, 22, said she’s especially concerned about children being exposed to secondhand smoke.

Clear Lake is a good vacation spot and cleaning up the public areas could boost tourism in the city, said resident Richard Bell, 85.

Tracy Teter, 47, of Mason City, added, “In public places … you notice a lot more (cigarette butts) outside because (smokers) can’t do it inside.”

Council members unanimously voted Aug. 21 to begin drafting the ordinance with city officials.

The ban would follow similar bans in other Iowa cities, said Councilman Tony Nelson. He said the ban makes sense because of the number of activities the city and residents hold in those public spaces.

Nancy Cornelius, 65, of Garner, opposes the ban. She said she’s respectful of others when smoking in public areas.

“If I’m sitting at a picnic table, and someone asks me to move … I would excuse myself and walk away,” Cornelius said. “They should not ban parks … You’re outside, if you don’t like my smoke, move.”

The ban is only in a preliminary stage. The city council will seek public comment on the proposal at its next meeting Monday.


Information from: Globe Gazette, http://www.globegazette.com/