Chicago’s park smoking ban doesn’t stop many smokers from lighting up – CBS Chicago

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Smoking in Chicago parks is illegal, but that doesn’t stop some regulars from blowing smoke in the face of opposition.

With a fountain in the middle and a gelato stand on the edge, Mariano Park is a popular place to relax in the Gold Coast neighborhood.

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Like other parks in Chicago, smoking is prohibited; with clear prohibition signs displayed in the tiny tree-lined Gold Coast triangle.

However, from table to table and bench to bench, the smoking ban doesn’t seem to have much impact.

“There are no no smoking signs posted around the perimeter of this park, and people just aren’t paying attention,” said Carrie Mangoubi.

Mangoubi wants to purify the air, not only for its children who come to play, but also for the seniors who relax in the sun. In addition, it is the law.

“There is no content remaining at the table you are at,” she said. “It’s spreading out and you can smell it on the other side of the park. “

Approach a smoker and you might get a rude response.

A smoker blew smoke in front of CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole.

“Maybe you shouldn’t bother me now, because otherwise I’ll get mad,” he said.

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Visitors to the park said that police officers who have tickets on hand for parking violations often do not tell smokers in the park anything, even though the violations are punishable by arrest and a fine of up to $ 500.

“There are always police cars around here, and they don’t seem to enforce the law,” Mangoubi said.

“If someone’s nice and says the smoke really bothers me, bothers my kid, or whatever, we quit,” smoker Terry Cohen said.

Cohen and other regulars have said they like to go to the edge of the park, where they believe smoking is allowed, but is actually banned within 15 feet of the perimeter of all Chicago parks.

“A dog is allowed to urinate in the park, you don’t have to wash it, you don’t have to clean it; but yet you can’t smoke a cigar or a cigarette on the sidewalk? I don’t understand that, ”Cohen said. “Without playing politics, our mayor can choose the laws she wants to follow. They come with ICE, and she warns. We don’t follow that. So maybe we have decided not to follow this law.

Smoking is prohibited in all 580 city parks, but in large venues and festivals, where people are likely to light up, it is more difficult to apply and easy to keep away from smoke and fumes.

This is not the case at Mariano Park, which Mangoubi believes should be easier to control.

“It’s a very small park,” she said. “I don’t want to stop anyone from doing what they want. I just want them to find a better place to do it.

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Chicago Police were unable to provide figures on the number of tickets issued for smoking at Mariano Park, but said that of the six disturbance calls they had received since January, none were related to the smoking.

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