Councilor Don Macrino joked that he would need to take up smoking if the City Council kept grappling with numerous thorny issues related to a proposed smoking ban. Councilor Adam Sprecace compared the deliberations in bringing the oft-amended measure to a vote to the unpleasant process of sausage making. The council finally voted 6-1 to for New London's parks, but the final version is significantly weaker than what was first proposed.
The version by the Public Welfare Committee would have banned smoking and chewing tobacco use in parks and within 30 feet of municipal entrances. The final version allows smoking in designated zones in parks, eliminates the ban around municipal entrances, and exempts waterfront parks from the ordinance.
In the region, smoking bans are also in place for the parks of Groton, Montville, and Norwich. In its discussions, the council sought to strike a compromise among health advocates supporting a smoking ban as well as residents concerned that the ordinance might drive people away from the parks and be difficult to enforce. Some councilors said the ordinance will allow a chance to examine the effects of the ordinance and that it could be strengthened in the future.
What do you think of the proposal? Let us know in the poll and comments.