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No smoking: Minneapolis may ban smoking in all parks

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The Minneapolis Parks and Recreation board is considering banning all smoking – including e-cigarettes – in its parks.

Since 2010, people have only been allowed to smoke 100 feet from playgrounds, park buildings, pools, beaches, etc. in the city's parks. If the proposed smoking ban is approved, people who are caught smoking cigarettes or e-cigarettes could be fined, KARE 11 says.

“I think people are comfortable with banning smoking throughout the parks,” said Park Commissioner John Erwin, who along with Commissioner Jon Olson, proposed the total ban, according to MinnPost. “Smoking pretty clearly isn’t something that makes people healthy.”

A lot of park goers agree with the ban, saying it'll also cut down on litter, WCCO reports.

But for smokers, the outdoors is one of the only places left for them to smoke.

“It just seems a little bit over the top. And together with, again, lot of the moralizing that people engage in with smoking, it’s also irritating for that reason,” Linda Canzanella, who is a smoker, told WCCO.

The park board is set to consider this ban in June. KARE 11 notes that a ban wouldn't allow police to write tickets, but an ordinance would. Before the board can pass an ordinance, there will be public hearings on the issue.

If the proposed ban on e-cigarettes passes, it would be what's believed to be the first public ban in Minnesota, the Star Tribune notes.

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