The city of San Luis, Ariz. has banned smoking in the newly renovated Moctezuma Park, and Mayor Gerardo Sanchez thinks it is the first step in making all of the city’s parks smoke-free.
The San Luis City Council formally approved the ban on May 14, though it doesn’t go into effect for 30 days after their passage. Sanchez told the Yuma Sun that “We decided to go slowly and to begin with just one park; I believe that little by little we will get the community accustomed to the prohibition against smoking in those areas.” While there are currently no fines for those who violate the prohibition, the council left the door open to adding them to the ordinance in the future.
A push to ban smoking in all parks has already been started by the group Southwest Youth Coalition Against Tobacco, who has been seeking a ban on smoking at all city-owned parks and recreation facilities for more than four years. Last summer, the group presented two clear plastic jugs filled with cigarette butts they collected from city parks to the council, along with an informal survey of park users that found 82 percent of the people they spoke to would support a city-wide ban on smoking in parks.
San Luis is a border town in southeastern Arizona’s Yuma County with a population of nearly 32,000 people.