City Council bans smoking in front of library. Are city parks next?

City Council bans smoking in front of library. Are city parks next? »Play Video

EUGENE, Ore. -- Smoke 'em if you got 'em: The Eugene City Council unanimously approved a plan to ban smoking outside the Eugen Public Library and other city buildings that serve children.

The ban takes effect in 30 days.

The ban "makes it more pleasant for a lot of people using the library," Mayor Kitty Piercy said, "and certainly healthier."

Piercy said she would eventually like to take the ban a step further and outlaw smoking in public parks. However, she said such a proposal will require extensive study.

Library staff initiated the drive to ban smoking outside the building in an effort to clear the air for patrons.

"I just kind of walk as fast as I can," library goer Esperanz Duran said of coming and going from the library. "I hold my nose, because I get dizzy. I can't stand it."

Supporters said the ban will help protect kids from second-hand smoke, and not just at the library: the ban applies to all city buildings serving children, including pools and community centers.

The new policy replaces what some call the "25-foot rule" City officials said that policy is confusing because, while you can't smoke 25-feet from the door, you can take two steps and feel free to light up. The new policy says no smoking all the way to the curb.

Oregon already banned smoking in bars statewide, a ban adopted by Eugene ahead of the statewide prohibition.

"If you're going to ban smoking inside a bar, if you're not going to allow them to smoke on the bars, why let them smoke on public properties?" asked Michelle Cowan of Eugene.