Should smoking be banned at JazzFest?

The Argue Endorser’s ED board thinks that the No Smoking policy in city parks should also apply to JF.

JazzFest or No JazzFest, it is important to remember the No Smoking policy in parks was decided by a volunteer board and the city’s health department, NOT by the city council (who are supposed create and regulate policy in this city) secondly, there is NO fines or violations issued if you are caught smoking in a city park, an officer simply asks you to put it out. What’s the point?

Here’s how I look at it. Tobacco is a legal product to adults, city parks are PUBLIC property, and lastly IT’S OUTDOORS! While I think it is perfectly acceptable for a bar or restaurant owner to prohibit smoking on their patios (private property) and they should, I think it is a bit of a stretch to tell taxpayers who own our city parks, to put out their cigarettes, like I said, legal product.

There is an easy solution – courtesy. Ask those around you if they mind if you light up, whether you are in a city park or an outdoor restaurant patio. If they say ‘YES’ they do mind. Then don’t light up or walk to a place where you are not in proximity of others.

I think banning a legal product OUTDOORS on PUBLIC PROPERTY is a slippery slope. We already have the city telling us how to trim THERE trees, mow our lawns and scooping snow, they should concentrate on something else, like a little transparency from the mayor’s office.


#1 Testor15 on 07.18.13 at 11:11 am

This once again the fuzzy process of government we call Sioux Falls city.There is a constant issuance of ‘rules’ not based on laws. The city then proceeds to issue fines to gullible people knowing full well the fines are not legal.

So we have an advisory board giving advice and the newspaper of record (the independent keeper of the truth) trying to convince park attendees advice = law / fact.

#2 Detroit Lewis on 07.18.13 at 11:13 am

Just like Texting and driving, preventing people from doing stupid things starts with education NOT violations.

#3 Craig on 07.18.13 at 1:36 pm

DL: “Here’s how I look at it. Tobacco is a legal product to adults, city parks are PUBLIC property, and lastly IT’S OUTDOORS!”

That is true, but alcohol is also a legal product yet we all know how controversial it is to allow it to be consumed on city property and with few exceptions it isn’t allowed at all in many of our parks.

Not to mention that when you drink a beer it has zero effect on me or my health. Smoking on the other hand does impact others and although the effects are minimal – perhaps even immeasurably so – they do exist.

So I can see the desire to make things non-smoking, and I wouldn’t fault them from making it official. Heck the littered cigarette butts alone are enough to make people want to ban it outright.

I will agree with you that courtesy would basically solve this issue if people would just think of others a bit, but honestly we know that will never fly because most people just don’t care about anyone other than themselves. You witness that each and every day just trying to drive across town or when you are trying to buy two items at Hy-Vee and someone cuts you off with a full shopping cart to save themselves 90 seconds of their day.

#4 Detroit Lewis on 07.18.13 at 1:47 pm

Then why doesn’t the city put a little teeth in it and hand people violations for smoking in the parks? They do with alcohol.

#5 Craig on 07.18.13 at 1:49 pm

Hey – you’re always the one talking about how the city should work with residents and how it should be a partnership, and now you’re worried about them NOT passing out fines?

Do we really want to encourage them to fine people more than they already do? I think working with people and asking them to put it out is the right call here. I’d say the same about alcohol – ask people to put it away and let it go… no need for silly fines.

#6 Detroit Lewis on 07.18.13 at 1:52 pm

I agree, I was just making a point. Is it a REAL ordinance if you are not fining people? Of course, the city, once again is willy-nilly about what ordinances and laws they choose to enforce and which ones they choose not to.

#7 Poly43 on 07.18.13 at 9:06 pm

The city ordinances concerning parks ALL goes to hell when it comes to the city turning a buck. The city does not care about the occasional Marlboro man lighting up in its park. They do care about $$$$$$. When the city can charge a vendor outrageous sums to set up, the vendor then sells his beer product for 6 times what he paid for it. $4 cigars for $20. Water for .25 cents an ounce. Same for Ribfest. Corral a captive audience and stick it to em.

#8 Scott on 07.20.13 at 4:12 pm

Smoking polls/comment boards are similar to the abortion debate. There’s 30% or so that are so against it that the results are skewed. It’s one thing to ban something from a closed-room environment; it’s quite another to have an attitude that they should NEVER be anywhere near the smell of smoke. Jazzfest is outdoors and is primarily geared to adults. It is ridiculous (and impossible to enforce) to expect 20,000 people (or 180 million in Jazzfest counting) to not light up.

#9 grudznick on 07.20.13 at 6:45 pm

Allow the burning of plants in public. My friend Mr. Newland would agree.

#10 Gary on 06.30.14 at 10:05 pm

Yes courtesy is all well and good if we lived in a state without wind. On a Saturday night their are so many people at Jazz Fest that you cannot go anywhere without breathing smoke. Since when did someones right to poison the air become more important than my right to breathe clean air. I will not attend Saturday nights at Jazz Fest because of this. I encourage parents with children not come on Saturday either if you care about your children’s health. Tobacco is a legal substance for adults but not for children and Jazz fest is touted as a family event?