Social Question

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

How do you feel about a proposed smoking ban in state parks?

Asked by Captain_Fantasy (11431points) March 23rd, 2010

Sure you’re outside so second hand smoke isn’t so much of an issue as the piles of cigarette butts people toss away so carelessly, which in addition to being an unsightly litter problem also becomes a major fire hazard.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

54 Answers

erichw1504's avatar

I’m all for it.

Snarp's avatar

I go to parks to breathe fresh air, among other things. I’m good with it. But then, I’m good with banning all smoking outside of your own home or car.

Seek's avatar

There’s a saying among the Parks and Rec guys in my county: “Where there’s smoke, there’s a smoker”

It’s government owned-and-maintained land. The parks are set up to be a safe haven for wildlife as a mitigation for the land that’s being overtaken by development. It’s not very safe if hundreds of thousands of acres are being burnt down every year because some douchebag thinks he’s entitled to throw little burning sticks into the dry brush.

JLeslie's avatar

You speak of two different things, smoking and littering. Littering is an outrage! I have been on other threads where I have stated that I don’t understand why smokers think it is ok to throw their cig butts on the ground. Regarding the smoking itself. I guess I could go either way. I’ll wait to hear some of the other opinions.

RandomMrAdam's avatar

If smoking can be banned in places like bars, there is no reason why it shouldn’t already be banned in places where children and families go to, like a park. No one prevents people from smoking in their homes, just smoke there, do not subject others to the effects of second hand smoke in places like parks, playgrounds, etc.

Snarp's avatar

@JLeslie But smoking and littering go hand in hand. I know not all smokers litter, but the percentage of litter that is cigarette butts is staggering, just based on what passersby throw on my front lawn. Oddly, my father, who when we went camping in my childhood would flick all the hot ash from his cigarette, carefully stamp it out, and place the butt in his pocket, seems to now think it’s OK to flick his butts over the fence into my neighbor’s yard.

Just_Justine's avatar

Yes and they must ban cars, all modes of transport, all toxic waste companies, and any thing and everything that interferes with peoples breathing. And the ozone layer. In fact why not ban parks?

noyesa's avatar

@Snarp Oh yes. My apartment complex has a nice courtyard in the middle of it and it looks very pretty until you’re standing in it—it is absolutely filthy. People like to stand on their balconies and smoke and just flick the butts into the air. Then when they’re done, they just toss the cigarette onto the ground. The management crew literally has to go outside with a vacuum because picking them all up by hand would take hours. There’s absolutely zero litering other than cigarettes at our complex.

KatawaGrey's avatar

Oh, sure, that’s fine as long as everything else that might hurt someone or hurt the wildlife is banned too. Drunks throw bottles on the ground that break and hurt the environment, let’s ban public drinking. Campers can leave smoldering coals that could catch fire and burn a forest to the ground. Let’s ban camping. You know what? I can hear my old high school’s marching band in my home late at night. Let’s ban them too.

In fact, let’s just make smoking illegal altogether because every smoker hides in the bushes with a mouthful of smoke and waits until an asthmatic child walks by and then leaps out and exhales.

When will people learn that “smoker” is not synonymous with “inconsiderate asshole”?

OperativeQ's avatar

Banning in state parks is understandable. What bugs me is when bans are put onto privately owned businesses.

wundayatta's avatar

Sounds good to me. I hate walking along, breathing the fresh air, and then suddenly get a breathful or two of cigarette smoke. I have to hurry on until I can get away. It sucks.

RandomMrAdam's avatar

@Just_Justine
Cars and other forms of transportation serve a purpose as they emit fumes that are harmful (though many companies are researching cleaner ways to do transportation) what benefit do cigarettes have to the community?

Facade's avatar

I’m for it. Cigarette smoke is disgusting.

Snarp's avatar

@Just_Justine That simply doesn’t follow. If you really need a reason, cars are virtually a necessity as a means of transportation, and already include significant air cleaning components. Cigarettes have no benefit to anyone and by their nature lack anything to reduce their emissions. Now if you could inhale all the smoke produced by the cigarette, at least it would be filtered by your lungs. Maybe we could make smoking helmets.

Some toxic waste also results from processes that result in highly beneficial products, and while toxic waste should be reduced, once again there are already laws governing how waste is treated and what can be directly released and what must be cleaned.

And I’m pretty sure we’ve banned everything that damages the ozone layer already.

JLeslie's avatar

@Snarp I have no idea of the actual statistics. As I said the littering is inexcusable.

RandomMrAdam's avatar

@Snarp
Thank you. I agree completely.

OperativeQ's avatar

Also, I find it funny how people are up for just straight banning something that they don’t like. It is not your decision what others do with their bodies.

janbb's avatar

I’d like to see them ban carrying a gun in parks first, then we can worry about smoking.

Snarp's avatar

@KatawaGrey Many parks ban open fires and glass bottles. But again, the logic does not work, these things are not equivalent.

Facade's avatar

@OperativeQ If what they do affects me, then I definitely have a voice in the matter.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

I’m 100% for a smoking ban in state and national parks. To me, smoking (along with a multitude of other activities) goes against the very idea of preserving a natural area.

meagan's avatar

Whaaaat? I stopped smoking around new years. But this is kind of silly. I got to smoke in a zoo recently… which I thought was more odd than anything.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Snarp: I think they’re not equivalent because you say they are not equivalent. It has become socially acceptable to openly shit on smokers which is the only reason why this question was even asked. Personally, I don’t like a lot of things that do affect me but I have enough sense to recognize that just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s bad or wrong.

Seek's avatar

Just for the record, alcoholic beverages are already banned in the state parks in my area, and many disallow any kind of disposable material (including paper napkins, soda cans, etc. They allow the special quick-dissolving toilet tissue at campsites).

Besides, throwing a can on the ground doesn’t burn down an entire park and several hundred houses. One may say that not all smokers are inconsiderate, but enough of them are, and those that do commonly toss butts on the ground don’t have the fact tattooed to their foreheads.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr: It’s a different matter entirely if there are already bans on other kinds of litter-producing activities. If that is the reason, then I’m all for it. Banning litter in state parks is important. However, if it was just a case of, “smoking is icky and anyone who does it is killing themselves and the people they love and we can’t allow to happen on our watch,” then I would be less happy.

Snarp's avatar

@KatawaGrey Smoking isn’t banned because of anything you are doing to yourself or your closest loved ones, it is banned because it is harmful and directly unpleasant to those around you, anywhere you are in addition to the greater potential harm from littering, and it provides no tangible benefit to anyone. Honestly, you no more have a right to smoke a cigarette than you do a right to smoke a crack pipe, we just allow the cigarettes because they don’t make you completely bat shit crazy and one use won’t kill you and you’ve got a good lobby.

JLeslie's avatar

What if I blow bubbles in your face every time you sit down to have a nice meal? To @Snarp point it is annoying or unpleasent to others (the smoking). We have to be considerate of the people around us in public places.

Seek's avatar

@JLeslie

I’m going to start carrying bubbles in my purse. Thank you. ^_^

noyesa's avatar

@JLeslie To the sensitive among us, cigarette smoke is more like getting punched in the face than getting bubbles blown at us.

Seek's avatar

True, but the smokers just stare blankly if the asthmatic among us start coughing uncontrollably and turn shades of blue and purple. The bubbles just *might*garner a reaction.

Snarp's avatar

Funny story. There are a lot of offices in the building with my son’s daycare, and everyone stands around in front of the daycare and smokes creating a huge cloud outside the doors, in spite of signs asking people to stay twenty feet away if they are smoking. So my wife, 9 months pregnant, was carrying my son on the way in. There was only one person smoking at this point, but my wife moved to avoid walking through his exhaled cloud of smoke and in the process tripped on the stairs and fell. Suddenly the man was all courtesy and concern, worried about the pregnant woman and child who fell. If only he could have had as much concern before he lit up his cigarette outside a daycare with clearly marked signs. Not saying the fall was his fault, just noting that smokers outside of smoking can be observant, caring, considerate members of society, but they just don’t see how they are being inconsiderate when they smoke.

Just_Justine's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I know of “dirty” smokers as I’ll call them, I can’t even sit next to them myself, their smoke wafts up your nostrils. This part I do understand fully. I also understand causing bush fires etc., I’ve also seen smokers, with ash all over them, overfilled ashtrays its disgusting. I have only ever dated none smokers, for some odd reason and they say they would ever even know I smoke. I do not blow smoke at people, cause bush fires, or distress people with my cigarette smoke, I also understand none smoker areas. However we are treated like shit.

Aethelwine's avatar

I’m all for it if it would stop people from tossing their butts on the ground. If a ban had been in place last summer, it would have stopped my husband’s co-workers from littering when we went on a whitewater rafting trip in Colorado. I was embarrassed and disgusted that they brought their cigarettes along with them, then during the stop for lunch they all lit up and tossed their butts on the ground.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

I feel like this question is getting a bit off topic.

State and national parks may be the last natural refuge for some plant and animal species, and so these areas deserve some respect, and need to retain some of their natural identity. I think a smoking ban is a good idea not because I find it disgusting or because I want to infringe upon the rights of others, but because it is disruptive to the natural element of state and national parks. For that very same reason, I’m also in favor of banning (or limiting):
– Drinking
– People cutting up trees for firewood
– Camping in non designated areas
– Limiting transportation within these parks
– Limiting the number of structures (roads, buildings, etc.)

To me, this issue has nothing to do with the personal effects of smoking, but rather the affect smoking has on the overall environment in state and national parks. That is why I’m in favor of a ban.

JLeslie's avatar

@noyesa I did not mean to say that there are not people who are truly very negatively affected by cig smoke, like people with asthma and others. The point of the bubbles is that this is not even something that effects other people’s health, but can still be annoying. Smokers are in their own little world. Not all. There are plenty of smokers who will not light up before asking if it will bother the people they are with, would never smoke in someone elses house or car, etc. But, they still are not asking the table next to them in a restaurant if it is bothersome.

I am not very concerned about my health if I am in a smoky area, because I am not around smoke that often. But, I don’t like it. I don’t like the smell, my husband HATES it, and so even if he is not with me and I come home smelling like an ashtray it is annoying to him.

My aunt loves to smoke. I would not try to take the pleasure away from her at this point. She just chews nicotine gum when she can’t smoke in a public area.

Snarp's avatar

@JLeslie I have to say I have a problem with the notion of smokers asking if it will bother people. If you have to ask, the answer is yes, the other person just might be too polite to say so.

JLeslie's avatar

@Snarp I think it depends. Since it bothers you, would you reply, “I prefer you don’t.”

Snarp's avatar

@JLeslie I would, but there are many who won’t, and there was a time I wouldn’t have.

lilikoi's avatar

Fire hazard I think is quite a stretch, at least where I am.

I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I hate cigarette smoke and butts. Nothing ruins my day more than going on a hike or to the beach to distance myself from civilization and “city life” and then seeing someone puffing away or flicking a butt on the ground. I usually confront them. It really pisses me off.

But enough for me to want the government to extend their iron fist of control over us again? I don’t know. I’d rather see existing littering laws actually enforced (with the penalties made stiffer) or educational programs put in place or a new company tumble into the industry that makes cigarettes that completely self destruct or turn into fertilizer.

OOH! What we should do is use shame. Start a blog, organized by city, and let users post (unflattering) photos of people flicking their butts in public, and write a funny caption – paparazzi style. Call it the Butts of Shame or something.

tinyfaery's avatar

I think my state already has a ban. Californian’s can hardly smoke anywhere. It’s made no real difference in my life, but I hate that people feel they have rights that supercedes someone elses.

DominicX's avatar

I agree with it completely. Fuck smoking in parks, especially in forests. The Gondola fire was said to have been started by a cigarette.

Snarp's avatar

@tinyfaery Your right to swing your arm ends where the other guy’s nose begins.

tinyfaery's avatar

As if that means anything.

Snarp's avatar

@tinyfaery I think it is pretty clear what it means. It means that when certain rights are in conflict we have to weight the potential harm. You have the right to free speech, but not to yell fire in a crowded building. You may or may not have the right to smoke (pretty sure that one’s not in the constitution any where) but if you do have the right to smoke, you don’t necessarily have the right to do it in a public place where others have to breathe the smoke. Sometimes some people’s rights do supercede others, that’s the whole reason we have to write laws and have courts.

tinyfaery's avatar

Except that there are tons of examples that do not follow your credo. But this has nothing to do with the question.

Draconess25's avatar

I’d have smoking banned from here to Jupiter if it was in my power.

YARNLADY's avatar

I* * * Y * A * Y * * * ! ! ! GOOD WORK ! ! ! * * * Y * A * Y * * *

Jude's avatar

@YARNLADY approves this message question. ;-)

Aethelwine's avatar

the bunny ears make her answer even better! :D

janbb's avatar

@YARNLADY What were you smoking?

YARNLADY's avatar

@janbb I’m one of those lucky people who doesn’t need any naxious substances to make me high – I am high on life

Val123's avatar

—I want you guys to know that I have become anal about not throwing my cigarette butts on the ground…..—-

Aethelwine's avatar

@Val123 that makes me :)

Val123's avatar

Makes me go “ewwww!” cuz I put the butts in my pocket or have to walk around with them till I find an ash tray….I’ve actually cut down quite a bit!

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther