Harmon Field considers ban on smoking in park

Published 12:28 pm Thursday, December 30, 2010

Harmon Field users who now enjoy a cigarette while watching activities at the park may soon have to go somewhere else to smoke.

The Harmon Field Board of Supervisors is discussing making the park smoke free. Board members asked the Tryon Town Council on Tuesday, Dec. 21 if it would consider placing such a ban.

Although the council did not give a clear answer, two council members said they would not support such a regulation.

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Wim Woody and Doug Arbogast said they would be against a smoking ban.

Id be opposed because of government intrusion, said councilman Wim Woody.

He said he doesnt smoke and doesnt recommend smoking, but the park is outside.

Arbogast asked how the town would enforce such a ban and said he would be opposed because of the difficulty of enforcing it.

North Carolina passed legislation last year that prohibits smoking in restaurants across the state. Enforcement of the smoking ban in restaurants is done by counties, Tryon Town Manager Justin Hembree said.

Hembree said he is not sure a local government can ban smoking in an outside area, but he said the town could designate areas for smoking.

Tryon councilman Roy Miller said he wouldnt be opposed to designating certain areas at Harmon Field for smoking.

Council members also said&bsp; if the town regulates smoking at Harmon Field, it may need to do so at all its parks.

If the town bans smoking or designates areas for smoking at Harmon Field and/or other parks, it would need to amend its code to do so, which would be a town council action.