SAN ANTONIO - Although San Antonio bans smoking in outdoor public spaces like zoos and bus stops, it's the only major city in Texas that still allows smoking in public parks.
Currently, people can smoke anywhere in city parks, except on playgrounds and in pavilions. City Council District 7 is working to expand the current smoking ban to all city parks and all areas of parks and trails.
Residents like Alejandro Soto with the Woodlawn Lake Community Association said that they've had issues with cigarette butts being left on trails and in the water for as long as he can remember.
"The issue is cigarette litter, and also the smoke that people run into when you're trying to recreate," Soto said.
The current smoking ban has no real enforcement beyond health department inspectors responding to complaints. The District 7 office said that if councilmembers accept these changes, park police could start enforcing the ban. However, not all neighbors agree with the proposal.
"I don't think it should be banned," Robert Quinones said. "I believe in people's freedom. Your choice."
The proposal is still in the preliminary stages but, if approved, San Antonio will be following other major cities like Austin, Dallas, and Houston, which all have smoking bans at local parks.
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