Today, six parks in the French capical have fallen under the new regulation “Smoke-free parks and gardens”. The experiment began on July 10th and will end this fall. After the trial period, the Conseil de Paris will decide whether or not to maintain the ruling across all Paris parks and gardens. Park visitors have wildly differing opinions on the subject of banning cigarettes from public parks.
Unsurprisingly, smokers questioned believed that the regulation was too strict. According to them, lighting up in an open space is not likely to bother other people. Furthermore, banning smoking is an attack on their freedom.
On the other hand, non-smoking park-goers appreciate the clean air when they are visiting a green space. The measure also helps to preserve air quality. For mothers or nannies, not having to deal with cigarette butts is a major improvement. This removes the risk of children finding cigarette dog-ends and, in some cases, chewing on them…
Information rather than repression
The mayor of the 17th arrondissement, Geoffroy Boulard, decided to ban smoking in the Batignolles gardens. In his opinion, the measure will serve to raise awareness in smoking populations, but without punishing them. This dialogue is important to help smokers understand the dangers of the habit, and also of second-hand smoke.
Municipal workers responsible for monitoring parks and gardens are therefore not tasked with issuing fines. However, any persons caught smoking near a playground risk a fine of €38, which jumps to €68 if they are caught littering by tossing their dog-end on the ground.
And today, the city of Strasbourg launched their initiative to ban smoking in all parks and gardens…