That would definitely be a step in the right direction here in the District of Columbia.
D.C. Councilmember Vincent Orange this week introduced a bill that would make areas near playgrounds smoke-free.
According to the bill text sent to us by Orange’s office, the measure would:
prohibit smoking within 25 feet of playground or pay area located on a public or private educational facility or on a District of Columbia Parks and Recreation Center.
A playground or play area is defined in the bill as any outdoor area with equipment or devices intended to be used for play by minors, including swing sets, sand boxes, slides, seesaws and play houses.
The measure, which D.C. Councilmembers Jim Graham (Ward 1) and David Grosso (At-Large) also signed on to, would exempt people who live within 25 feet of a playground or play area.
According to news reports, Orange was prompted to introduce the measure by complaints he had received about people smoking around children on playgrounds. Secondhand smoke is harmful to adults, but it is really bad for kids.
It would be great if all parks were smoke-free, regardless of whether playground equipment was there or not. But this certainly is a good step.