Commission approves smoking ban for regional park

Smoking age
Stock image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Openly smoking at the Washington County Regional Park just became a thing of the past due to an ordinance passed by the Washington County County Commission Tuesday.

The ordinance bans the use of tobacco products at the regional park (also known as the county fairgrounds) and is largely based on the policy adopted by Dixie State University three years ago, Washington County Commissioner Dean Cox said.

“For the most part we just emulated what the university does,” Cox said.

A push to make the regional park tobacco-free was initiated by the Southwest Utah Public Health Department and the Washington County Youth Coalition, said Kye Nordfelt, SWUPHD’s director of health promotions.

Tobacco is still the no. 1 cause of preventable death in America,” Nordfelt said, “and there’s no safe level of second-hand smoke.”

During a three-year period, members of the Washington County Youth Coalition documented people at the regional park smoking around the entry into the park, as well as during the middle of events they attended while surrounded by other people.

Not only did coalition members document incidents of smoking at the events, but they also took surveys of people concerning whether or not they wanted the regional park to be smoke-free.

Over 90 percent wanted their families to have “a tobacco-free experience” while attending the events at the park, Nordfelt said.

So the Health Department and the coalition took their suggestion to make the regional park tobacco-free to the County Commission.

“They listened and saw the need,” Nordfelt said. “We’re grateful for their willingness to support this important health issue.”

The ban, however, does not extend to individuals who may choose to smoke in their cars or in their RVs or trailers that would be parked on the grounds, Cox said.

Cox used the carnival that often comes to the fairgrounds as a part of the Washington County Fair as an example of a group of individuals who will bring in trailers and the like as they will be staying multiple days. If they choose to smoke inside those trailers or RVs, so be it.

I’m not going to be Nazi police and check up on them in their cars or trailers,” Cox said.

A designated smoking area will also be established, though exactly where will be left the to discretion of the department head who oversees the regional park, Cox said.

“The idea is to get it so people aren’t blowing smoke in the faces of patrons coming out to the park,” he said, adding that as far as government is able, it should promote the public health.

Vaping is also included in the tobacco ban at the regional park.

The County Commission voted unanimously to approve the ban.

The ban is anticipated to take effect in about a month or so, Cox said. Time needs to be allowed to advertize the change prior to putting it in force.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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  • r2d2 May 2, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    What a crock of ****.

    • DesertBill May 3, 2017 at 7:47 am

      Erudite, tasteful comment.

  • NotSoFast May 2, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    Vaping is also banned? Why? Oh I see, It’s politically incorrect and people might get the wrong impression. Got Ya!

  • Rob83 May 3, 2017 at 6:36 am

    Glad to hear it, smokers are the most inconsiderate people, period, I know from experience.

  • wilbur May 3, 2017 at 10:35 am


    …smoking Nazi’s. I hate smoking Nazi’s…”

  • Brian May 3, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    This is great news for many reasons.

    Smokers have every right to smoke, the same way I have every right to walk around my yard with an open container of a noxious, toxic liquid that stinks and causes cancer. But if I try to walk around the mall or a park with the same open container it would be a problem because I’d be forcing it on those around me, and would expect to be stopped.

    Second hand smoke is dangerous. I can’t believe in 2017 I still see people smoking in a closed car with kids in car seats (saw it just last week and had to bite my tongue).

    I think this is good news and perfectly legit, legal, Constitutional, and in line with my conservative / libertarian values. As Thomas Jefferson said, “If it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket what difference is it to me?”. Spreading a known cancer-causing agent indiscriminately, constantly, and daily falls under “breaks my leg”.

    I just wish they would have included the parking lot, and would extend it to city parks as well.

  • comments May 3, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    I tell this to even friends : You’re an idiot if you smoke. And I’m not sure vaping is that much less harmful to health, but i guess vape doesn’t drift around the way smoke does? If people wanna suck this nasty chemical vape stuff into their lungs I say go for it so long as it doesn’t get near me.

  • NotSoFast May 3, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    I heard from a (reliable source) that corn dogs, tacos, etc., sold from vending trucks make one almost immediately start passing large amount of human gas. You would think that county health department personnel could patrol the aisles with hand held methane gas detectors. Those people need to be cited/ band also.

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