Tobacco use at San Antonio city parks may soon be banned

Ban would include chew and vaping

By Bill Barajas - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Tobacco use at San Antonio city parks may soon be banned as part of a proposed city ordinance.

The ban includes all tobacco products, including chew. Vaping would also not be allowed.

"I can see why people would have an issue with it. I think parks are pretty large, though, so I think if you want to chew or smoke or use vape, the parks are big enough for people to be around it or not around it," said Nathan Arbuckle, who was spending time at a park with his family.

Arbuckle also worries about how the rules will be enforced especially when it comes to chewing tobacco.

"No, only, would it be near-impossible to really control whether someone chewed or not? I think that it literally doesn't affect anybody else," Arbuckle said.

The proposed tobacco ban is part of the city's park system plan. The plan's focus is to make parks healthier. 

"In 2010, the city adopted a city ordinance to prohibit smoking in public places unless you had an additional space that you could close off, and really the question is, why not our parks?" said District 7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval.

Sandoval said the ordinance would be in place for all 250 city parks.

"Our next step will be to begin some education on what that ordinance might look like and bring an ordinance forward to the City Council. We will get an update in February," said Sandoval.

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