South Elgin bans smoking, vaping from parks

  • The South Elgin village board on Monday approved a ban on smoking and vaping at all public parks within the village. Pictured is Jim Hansen Park in South Elgin.

    The South Elgin village board on Monday approved a ban on smoking and vaping at all public parks within the village. Pictured is Jim Hansen Park in South Elgin. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 6/18/2019 5:27 PM

Smoking and vaping are now banned in all public parks in South Elgin after a unanimous vote by the village board Monday night.

Signs to that effect will be placed after July 4, Parks and Recreation Director Kim Wascher said.

 

"We're trying to have a positive impact on people's health with not having secondhand smoke, but also on the environment with (eliminating) the cigarette butts," Wascher said.

The latter problem has been particularly apparent while organizing Earth Day activities in the last couple of years, she said. Possession and consumption of alcohol and drugs also are banned from public parks in the village.

Elgin banned smoking and vaping in public parks in 2015 and Naperville did so last year. Smoking in parks also is banned in Buffalo Grove, Elmhurst, Hanover Park, Hoffman Estates, Gurnee, Schaumburg and Vernon Hills, with some policies in effect since the mid-1990s and mid-2000s.

The South Elgin village board had discussed making parks smoke-free about 10 years ago but didn't move forward with it, Wascher said. This time, everyone was supportive, she said.

There also has been positive feedback from groups such as Little League International, which does not allow coaches, parents or players to smoke during games, she said.

The ban will include smoking at Panton Mill Park during RiverFest Express, the village's signature summer event in August, but there will be a smokers' area along Water Street, Wascher said.

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