East Lansing approves smoking ban

The East Lansing city council unanimously passed an anti-smoking ordinance on Tuesday night, and not everyone is happy about it.

"I don't feel like I'm suffering from other people in this community who are smokers," says Arthur Slabosky.

Slabosky doesn't smoke, but he stood up for smokers in East Lansing and their right to light up where they please outside, especially if they're far away from other people in a park.

"We now have banned smoking on trails or in the expanses of Patriarche park," describes Slabosky. "I mean second hand smoke has an effect on people, but it can only go so far."

But supporters of the ban say the second hand smoke has been an issue in parks for years, which is why the ban applies to all parks, plazas, and recreational facilities in East Lansing to limit that second hand smoke exposure, especially for kids.

"People are understanding that, you know, second hand smoke is an unhealthy thing, and certainly for children," says East Lansing city manager George Lahanas. "So if we can take steps to minimize that to the extent possible, that's probably the motivation."

The council also banned smoking in parking lots, but only during concerts or events in the city.

No smokers were at the city council meeting to object to the proposal, and in spite of Slabosky's efforts, the ordinance will be enacted.

The city will start to put up signs where smoking will be banned soon, but ticket violations won't be issued for a few months, while people adjust to the change.