Yakima moves forward with smoking bans

Yakima moves forward with smoking bans »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Some new rules are on the way for those who want to smoke in Yakima.

KIMA has followed the city's decision to crack down on where you can light up. The city considered a ban at all parks.

But decided to take a different approach at a special meeting today.
I was there and spoke with city officials about the upcoming change.

It's events like these that city of Yakima wants to make smoke-free.

A city-sponsored concert attended by folks of all ages, including families with children.

Some city leaders feel smoking at crowded events is irritating and a potential health hazard.

But now, a public safety committee thinks that's too aggressive. It will begin with a ban on smoking at most city-sponsored events.

"I don't think we can moralize every single solitary vice," said Yakima City Council Member, Maureen Adkison.

Adkison says a permanent ban would be too-time consuming for police.

"I don't think it's enforceable,"Adkison said. "The cops have way more things to do."

KIMA has heard from smokers who agree. The city says it's gotten the same feedback. They're not criminals and should be allowed to smoke where they want.

Norma Mays disagrees. She was counting on a smoking ban for local parks.

"For health reasons, like my condition, I had a stroke several years ago."

Lee Jaderland is visiting Yakima from Tacoma. It's a city where smoking *is banned at city parks. Lee says Tacoma's ban doesn't really change how he smokes.Because, nowadays it seems to be banned in more spots than it's allowed.

"Ya got people that get downright upset just because you're smoking in general. It doesn't matter if you're a block away from kids or ten feet," Jaderland said.

City council will vote to finalize the new rule in a few weeks. And then move on to what it considers more-pressing issues.

"I can be working on the gang-free initiative and economic development," Adkison said.

The city will hold one last public meeting in a few weeks before finalizing the new rules.