Davenport advisory board eyes smoking ban in public parks, golf courses

DAVENPORT, Iowa-- A smoking ban could be coming to Davenport public parks and golf courses.

On Tuesday, Nov. 13, the parks and recreation advisory board approved a resolution to support policies banning tobacco products, e-cigarettes and vaping in those public areas. The advisory board offers advice and gives feedback to the parks and recreation department.

“I think it’s a great idea," Brenda Moline, who walks her dog every day at Vander Veer Park. “The pollution is still there, I believe. And even though the park is so big, the kids are running around everywhere.”

Moline says her dog sometimes gets into tossed cigarette butts and worries little kids can do the same.

"Little kids could pick them up and put them in their mouths," she says.

But some people aren't sure a ban is even necessary.

“I have plenty of friends (who smoke) who are considerate enough to walk off the path or walk over near the trees," Nathan Wulf says. "I don’t know what provoked it to be necessary here exactly.”

Tuesday night, the advisory board heard concerns about second-hand smoke and discarded cigarette butts, which pose a health threat to animals and children.

"(Smokers) can have a right to choose if they’re in their own home or their own car," Moline says. "But this is a public place. If it’s a public place, no, they shouldn’t have that right.”

The ban would come more than a decade after the Smokefree Air Act was passed in Iowa, which banned smoking in most public buildings and businesses. Violators of the new ban could face fines or be removed from the public area.

The advisory board will look at a final draft of rules before making any sort of recommendations to the city council. The council would have to make a vote on an ordinance to put a ban into effect.

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