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DULUTH - Duluth’s Lakewalk is a place for biking, running, walking or
simply taking in its breathtaking views, but one thing city councilor's say it's not for is smoking.
"It's going to affect basically the entire Lakewalk,
structurally and six feet off and that includes all of Lake Place Park and Leif
Erickson Park," said Duluth City Council Vice President, Patrick Boyle.
Duluth city councilors voted to put an end to the use of all
tobacco and other related products, as well as synthetic marijuana.
Among the millions of people who use the Lakewalk every
year, some say they're more than happy with the healthy choice.
"If somebody wants to smoke in their own home that's
fine, but they shouldn’t smoke around the public. There are children and people
that have problems with breathing," said Bill Wherland, from Minneapolis.
Smokers claim that it's their air as much as anybody else’s.
"I understand the effects of secondhand smoke and what
not, but I mean this is out here in the open. No, I don't think that should be,"
said Dennis Kolka, of Kansas City, Missouri.
The ban will be monitored by police, but Boyle says
enforcement will largely be up to the general public.
"I truly believe this should be an ordinance that's
citizen driven. The American Lung Association is going to be working with us
putting up signs and I think smokers are considerate about that," said
Smokers find the enforcement a little hard to believe.
"It's a law, but the police won't enforce it. So, I think
it's asinine," said Kolka.
If the Lakewalk ban is successful councilors say expanding
on the law is a definite possibility.
Boyle said, "This is baby steps. We want to see how
this ordinance works and in the future we might be looking at city–wide
Any person violating the new law will face a petty
misdemeanor and a $50 fine.
In addition to those penalties, they could also
face civil action if they cause injury or are repeat offenders.