The Turlock City Council will decide whether to uphold a previous smoking ban in Turlock parks on Tuesday.
The resolution would not only ban the use of cigarettes and other tobacco products, but also vapor related products including electronic cigarettes.
Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission (PARC) had first began the discussion in August, when Girl Scout Troop 3289 attended the PARC meeting and requested a smoking ban.
At the following meeting, in September, citizens in opposition and support of the smoking ban spoke before PARC and an item was presented to be voted on at the October meeting to recommend the smoking ban to the City Council.
However, at the October meeting, staff announced that there was already a smoking ban in City parks on the books — approved by then-Council on Jan. 14, 2003. That ban, however, was never enforced.
Staff reports that it is unknown as to why the smoking ban was never and has never been enforced since it’s approval.
The oversight garnered national attention, even being the punch line on NPR’s comedic news game show “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!”
In November, PARC reaffirmed the smoking ban on a 6-2 vote — adding a stipulation that vapor products, including electronic cigarettes, would be included in the ban. The ban is not enforceable until it is approved by the City Council.
Turlock City Council will now vote on whether to approve the smoking ban on Tuesday.
Staff reports that if the ban is approved, additional signage would be placed around City parks, something that was not done at the time of the original ban.
The Turlock City Council will meet Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Yosemite Room of City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.