Smoking ban begins in Fayetteville parks and trails

Holland Park is located at 4385 W. Alberta St. in Fayetteville.

Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

Smoking is now illegal in all Fayetteville parks and trails.

The city’s new smoking ban, which was approved by the City Council last month, took effect on Friday.

The ban includes cigarettes, lighted pipes, cigars, vapor devices, e-cigs, and all forms of smokeless tobacco. Cessation products approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (nicotine gum, lozenges, patches, inhalers, nasal sprays) are not included in the ban.

City staff said signs will soon be posted in parks and on trails to notify the public of the new law. Violators will be subject to a $50 fine.

A 2004 law already prohibited smoking inside Fayetteville’s restaurants, stores and other places of employment. Only bars and retail tobacco stores are exempt. A 2011 proposal would have expanded the law to include all Fayetteville bars, but the measure failed when three council members voted against the idea (the ordinance needed six votes to pass).

Parks staff said the following Arkansas municipalities currently prohibit smoking in parks: Arkadelphia, Ash Flat, Atkins, Batesville, Bentonville, Berryville, Blytheville, Conway, Dover, Elm Springs, Fort Smith, Gosnell, Harrison, Helena-West Helena, Little Rock, Magnolia, Mena, Perryville, Phillips County, Pottsville, Prairie Grove, Russellville, Sebastian County, White Hall and Yellville.

Staff said the following out-of-state cities also ban smoking in public parks: Athens, Georgia; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Gainsville, Florida; Asheville, North Carolina; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Boulder, Colorado; Ft. Collins, Colorado; and Lawrence, Kansas.

In their research, staff said they found 1,531 U.S. cities with smoke-free parks.