Wausau considers smoking ban in parks

A city of Wausau committee on Monday recommended a smoking ban in all city parks.


No ifs, ands, or butts about it, Wausau is considering a smoking ban in city parks.

The topic arose due to complaints about smokers and their cigarette butt litter during the Wednesday night Concerts on the Square on the 400 Block this summer— but it’s also an issue that local officials have noticed in other public parks as well. City staff agreed that smoking in any public parks is a health concern, a littering problem and causes negative interactions between smokers and nonsmokers.

Parks and Recreation Committee member Tom Neal, who voted for a complete ban on smoking, says the full city council would at least consider a partial ban, especially during special events and mass gatherings at public parks. A number of communities in Wisconsin have partially banned smoking in public parks, and other cities across the nation have completely banned smoking in public parks.

See this week’s City Pages, Oct. 5-12 issue, for more details and personal stories on the proposed ban.