SJ reminding citizens of smoking ban

January 6, 2009 12:56:55 PM PST
The city of San Jose has started a public education and outreach program in an effort to inform residents and visitors of a smoking ban for parks that took effect in October 2007.

The No Smoking Ordinance applies to city owned, leased or occupied property including sidewalks, trails, and pathways in and around parks and any park area, city officials said. The ordinance also applies to within 25-feet of any entrance, exit, operable window, or entrance of any golf course, community center or library, according to the city.

The City Council adopted the ordinance in October 2007 for it to take effect that month, but signs notifying the public had not been posted in all the affected areas until recently, Associate Event Coordinator Katie Peterson said.

The outreach program informing the public of the smoking ban includes radio and TV public service announcements, billboards and educational cards that encourage compliance so parks can remain areas for family fun, Peterson said.

"We took a friendly approach rather than a negative approach," she said of the public service announcements.

The program started this week because funding was recently secured, Peterson said. Billboards should be completed within the week, she said.

City officials hope the educational outreach will increase compliance with the new law, according to Peterson.

For residents and visitors who miss the billboards and announcements, the ordinance has also been posted in all parks as part of a list of park rules, according to the city.

A list of park rules will also be available from park rangers, who will carry small education cards to hand out to the public, Peterson said.

Additional information about the ordinance is available online at www.sjparks.org or from the Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services at (408) 535-3570.


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