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Locals call for smoking ban in Pocatello parks

Some in Pocatello are calling for more legislation when it comes to lighting up, asking the city council to make local laws much more strict for secondhand smoke.

Anthony Nelson is one of several people who’ve recently written in to the mayor and city council asking for more laws concerning second-hand smoke.

Nelson is the father of four kids and he said smokers can legally light-up in city parks even in and around playgrounds filled with little kids.

“It’s not something I’m comfortable with. I don’t want my kids to have to be subjected to that,” Nelson said.

Thursday a representative with the American Heart Association speaks with the city council about the dangers of secondhand smoke and give some ideas for smoke-free ordinances.

Mayor Brian Blad said he’ll listen, but he’s wary of making extensive legislation.

“I don’t think it’s a right to be able to smoke, but I don’t think it’s my right to tell people that do smoke that they can’t,” Blad said.

Blad said he certainly doesn’t want smokers contaminating other peoples air, but in his experience people are happy to smoke out of theway without the need for lots of laws.

“About 90 percent of the people say, ‘Sorry, thank you very much.’ And they smoke over there. So for the most part I don’t think it’s a big problem.”

Nelson disagrees and said his kids have run into the problem on a recent trip to Brooklyn’s Playground.

“People were at the front gates of the park smoking. We had to walk through it to get into the playground,” Nelson said.

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