Six parks in Avon to go tobacco-free

Posted at: 07/02/2013 2:41 PM
Updated at: 07/02/2013 11:12 PM
By: Lynette Adams

The village of Avon is asking visitors to its parks not to light up. A resolution passed just Monday night took effect Tuesday.

Village leaders say they are following what has already become the rule in Livingston County parks and parks in the village of Geneseo. They are smoke free. Smoking is now banned in Avon Village parks as well, but the mayor says there will be no penalties connected with the new resolution.

The mayor says this is all about respect. Village leaders are asking people to respect others by not subjecting them to second hand cigarette smoke.

Tom Freeman, Avon Mayor, said, “We're going to put up a few minor signs to ask people not to smoke in our parks and to be respectful to our parks.”

 News10NBC's Lynette Adams asked, “But what happens if they choose not to?”

Freeman said, “We can always ramp up and we hope we don't have to get to that point.”

Adams asked, “What do you say to the smokers who say we can't smoke in the building, we can't smoke on municipal property. We're just getting squeezed out of everywhere, it's not fair.”

Freeman said, “Say somebody is smoking right next to us and we're standing here and we're non-smokers and they elected to walk over to the other side of the park, I think that in itself is respectful. I think that's a very good start. I would appreciate that as a gesture.

Adams said, “But technically they would still be violating what you're requesting, no smoking in a village park.”

Freeman said, “That's true, but you're just adding fuel to the fire. All we're trying to do is get people to be respectful of the people around them. It's the young lungs that we are concerned about.”

Adams said, “And you think smokers will just go along with what you're asking and not smoke.”

Freeman said, “I'm optimistic. I think they will.”

Freeman says Avon is the third community in Livingston County to adopt the no smoking rule in the villages' 95 acres of parks. He says Nunda and Geneseo have passed similar resolutions.

Local residents react

 News10NBC wanted to hear from local residents about what they think about the new parking smoking ban. Reaction is mixed.

Richard Morrow, Avon Native, said, “I live right here on the Main Street. If my wife wants to walk over and sit in the park, relax and smoke a cigarette, she'll bring the butt back home. Enforce a littering law, don't enforce a smoking law. I'm opposed to smoking, but I'm not opposed to rights.”

Jeanette Montesano, Avon Resident: I'm not a smoker so I think it is a good idea. If there are children around in the park, because of second hand smoke. It does a lot of damage to a lot of people especially if you have asthma or allergies.”