Iowa City Council passes tobacco ban at parks

Residents can no longer use cigarettes, e-cigarettes or chewing tobacco

City Hall is shown in Iowa City on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)
City Hall is shown in Iowa City on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — Residents can no longer smoke cigarettes, use e-cigarettes or chew tobacco in Iowa City’s parks.

The City Council voted 6-1 this week to ban the products in all city parks and the trails that traverse them. Mayor Jim Throgmorton voted no on the ordinance, previously saying that parks are open spaces and he doesn’t believe it’s a public health issue.

Before the ordinance, smoking cigarettes and using e-cigarettes were banned in some parks while all parks allowed chewing tobacco.

Park goers can still use the products at parks if they’re in a privately-owned car.

The effort to change the rules began in January when Johnson County Public Health made a presentation to the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Commission recommending extending the ban to all parks.

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