Signs ask Park Visitors not to Smoke Around Kids | Public Spaces

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Signs ask Park Visitors not to Smoke Around Kids
Public Spaces
Signs ask Park Visitors not to Smoke Around Kids

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- Slides and swings don't mix with cigarettes, according to the St. Johns County parks department.

County commissioners agreed and now the St. Johns County Recreation & Parks department will place signs in parks saying, "Be courteous. Please refrain from tobacco use in areas designed for children."

Larry Murphy and his wife, Kristi, were at Treaty Park on Wednesday.  "I think that's a good idea. I don't think kids should be exposed to second hand smoke and stuff like that," Larry Murphy said.

His wife added, "I think in public places there should be signs for no smoking around kids."

A group of students approached the county with the idea, which a grant will pay for.

Other counties are placing similar signs in public parks, but St. Johns County officials stress that they are not changing the county ordinance; the signs simply request people to be courteous.

"A lot of the counties with laws in place are having trouble with enforcement, so that's the reason we didn't want to put a law in place that we could not enforce," Troy Blevins, director of the parks department, said. 

But the request does mean it's one less place to smoke -- out in the open air in Florida.

Zach Brown, who was at Treaty Park on Wednesday, is okay with that. "It is one less place, but it's the [smokers'] choice. I guess America is moving towards not being a smoking community like other European counties. I think it's good."

When the signs go up around playgrounds and ball fields depends on when the grant money comes in.

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