The city council in Columbus, Neb. unanimously passed an ordinance making the majority of the city’s parks tobacco free on Tuesday night, specifically focusing on areas where children may come into contact with secondhand smoke.

The ordinance that was passed specifically says that tobacco use is to be prohibited in areas where children are present, meaning playgrounds, picnic shelters and athletic facilities along with their spectator areas. While there aren’t designated smoking areas that are carved out in the ordinance, the Columbus Telegram reports that parking lots won’t be subject to the ban, nor will fishing areas or the city’s disc golf course.

The city also decided to forgo imposing fines or other penalties as part of the ordinance, with city leaders saying it will rely on citizens’ voluntary compliance and peer pressure from other park users in order to be effective. Signage is also being installed to provide a visual reminder of the new ordinance.

Columbus is located approximately 85 miles east of Omaha and is home to just over 22,500 residents.

Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.