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Smoking banned in parks

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Anahi Perez, left, and Maria Ramirez of S.W.A.T. give speeches during an event banning smoking in the park at Lions Town and Country Park on Wednesday.


A ban on smoking in city parks was celebrated Tuesday — where else, but in Lions Town and Country Park, the city’s biggest.

Speeches were made and new signs prohibiting smoking in the city’s parks were posted.

However, down the street, at Memorial Courthouse Park, which belongs to the county, several people were sitting around on benches and at tables, smoking.

Memorial Courthouse Park is under Madera County jurisdiction, while Lions Town and Country Park is under City of Madera jurisdiction.

County Board of Supervisors Chair Brett Frazier, who was present at the city ceremony, said he was sure smoking also would be prohibited in county parks, especially since the county Public Health Administration was dead set against smoking on county property.

“Smoking takes away the quiet enjoyment of our parks,” Frazier said in remarks that indicated the county would continue to be against smoking on county property.

Sara Bosse, the county public health director, said the new city policy “will help our community learn the dangers of smoking and second-hand smoking.”

She said even e-cigarettes were dangerous, though their manufacturers claimed e-smokers only exhaled water vapor instead of tobacco smoke.

She said e-smoking was injurious. Some 1,604 cases of e-cigarette injuries to lungs were caused in the state, and that three deaths had resulted in California. She said there was one case of e-cigarette injury in Madera County.

A youth coalition, Students Working Against Tobacco, was credited with cleaning up cigarette butts from Lions Town and Country Park and spreading the word about the new no-smoking regulations. Anahi Perez and Maria Ramirez of the coalition delivered brief remarks.

City Council Members Jose Rodriguez, Donald Holley and Santos Garcia also spoke in favor of the new regulations.

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