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Council Defers Smoking Ordinance Decision

The Racine City Council's Committee of the Whole on Tuesday deferred a proposed ordinance to ban smoking cigarettes in city parks, beaches and other recreational areas.

It's expected to come up before the committee at its next meeting. The Racine Board of Health approved the proposal in June, after the health department recommended it, citing health concerns.

City health department staff gave a presentation on the health risks of secondhand smoke cigarettes Tuesday during the committee meeting at Racine City Hall, 730 Washington Ave.

Aldermen briefly discussed the issue of enforcement but decided to postpone further discussion, with a few dissenting. Eric Marcus, the 2nd District alderman, said banning smoking cigarettes in outdoor places is "pointless."

A couple residents have spoken against the proposal at previous city meetings, and voiced concerns such as why golf courses weren't included.

If the measure goes through, it would add onto the statewide ban and the city's existing smoking cigarettes ordinance which prohibits it in city buildings and vehicles.

The state smoking cigarettes ban took effect more than a year ago, prohibiting smoking cigarettes in "enclosed places" where people work and public places including taverns, restaurants, bowling alleys, correctional facilities and bus shelters.

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