The City of Elgin recently banned all tobacco products from its parks, with three exceptions.
Tobacco products were recently banned from nearly all of Elgin's parks and recreation facilities.
The ordinance was passed by City Council as part of its commitment to making the city a healthy place for all its residents. By banning tobacco, a known carcinogen, the city has become a healthier place to live and work.
The tobacco ban in parks and recreational facilities does have three exceptions: the three city golf courses, the Festival Park lawn during concerts and the sports complex softball fields during adult events. The softball fields are off-limits during children's and youth events. The ban includes chewing tobacco, cigarettes, cigars and pipes.
The Youth Leadership Academy gave presentations to the council and parks advisory board on the benefits of banning smoking in public parks. Limiting exposure to secondhand smoke and reducing the amount of litter in the parks are both healthy decisions and cost-saving measures for residents and the city alike.
Enforcement will begin with polite reminders to the public, but eventually fines between $100 and $250 will be assessed for using tobacco in the parks and recreational areas.