Councils should not ban smoking in fields

The Abbeville City Council is considering creating a new ordinance that would not allow anyone to smoke in a ball park at A.A. Comeaux Park.

On paper, it sounds like a great ordinance and people should be calling their city council members to encourage them to pass it.

I have a problem with banning smoking in ball parks, and I am not even a smoker.

First of all, I don’t think smoking at baseball fields is that big a problem. When a youth or even high school game takes place, at best there are 50 people attending the game on five to eight acres of land. When there are 50 people attending a youth baseball game at Sellers Field (the big field on the west end of the park), that means there is a lot of open space where no one is sitting or standing. It is not like LSU’s Tiger baseball stadium where everyone is next to each other.

I have witnessed first-hand that many smokers do not smoke in the bleachers.

Smokers know that people are bothered by the smoke, so they try to smoke away from the crowd.

That is a good thing for those who hate smoke.

The new ordinance would ban smoking inside the baseball fields and football field. Adults would have to smoke outside the field. The distance could be five feet to 100 feet away from the entrance of the field.

If the new ordinance is passed, there could be a group of people standing at the entrance gate smoking and trying to watch their child play. Those entering the field will have to walk through a fog of smoke. Yuk!

Or, you will have 10 people standing on the road near the entrance of Luquette Field smoking and watching the game. People standing on a busy road is not a safe thing, either.

But while Mom or Dad are not allowed to smoke inside the field, head and assistant baseball/softball coaches can walk around with tobacco in their mouth during the game and nothing gets said.

My solution to the problem is to designate an area for people to smoke in the field.

Sellers Field is a large field and there is plenty of room for people to smoke without bothering anyone. Designate down the firstbase/right line as the smoking area at Sellers Field.

Theriot Field - Same thing. Right field area along the fence under the trees is a safe place.

Luquette Field - down the third base line in left field is away from the public.

Shelby/Chester Field, Parker Field - all have places down the first base line past the dugout which would be a good place for smokers.

Put signs, “Smoking area.”

By designating a place for smokers to go, you will not have a clutter of smokers at the entrance gate or people standing on the street smoking. Mom, Dad or Grandma can go to a marked area, smoke and watch the game. Those who hate smoke, stay away from the area.

If the city council is going to stop smoking in baseball fields, I would like it stopped in all Abbeville parks. I do not like swinging with my child at Godchaux Park next to someone who is smoking. Just a suggestion!

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