Aiken County park smoking ban likely to pass

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The Aiken County Council is trying to ban smoking at all public parks. It would be the first ban of its kind in the CSRA.

No matter how many trash cans there are or how close they may be, cigarette butts are still found just a few feet away from where they belong.

In a move to control the foul smelling problem, the Aiken County Council has given the preliminary go-ahead to ban cigarettes in areas of parks, especially where children play.

Smoker Michael Adams says he agrees.

"It gives them bad habits if they see people smoking," he says. "I think it would help."

But some say banning smoking in public places--especially ones outdoors--is infringing on their rights.

"People are gonna smoke no matter where you's gonna be there," one woman said.

"It's our right. I'm a smoker, I'm not going to smoke in front of a kid," said a man.

The proposal was met with hesitation by board members until the council agreed to make a compromise...and that's to allow it only in the parking lots.

The idea is getting a mixed reaction from members on both ends of the debate.

While the proposal still needs to go before the council one last time, it got a unanimous approval at the last meeting.

One council member tells News 12 she thinks it will most likely pass at their next meeting.

The ban would only apply to county parks and not to those inside the city limits of North Augusta and Aiken.