DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

January 2, 2014

Derry councilor wants to ban smoking

Councilors mull smoking ban in town parks

By Julie Huss
jhuss@derrynews.com

---- — DERRY — A potential smoking ban at the town’s parks is getting some people hot under the collar as town councilors ponder moving forward.

Town Councilor Al Dimmock wants to get the ball rolling and start working on a possible restriction on where people can and can’t smoke on town properties.

At a meeting Dec. 17, Dimmock said it’s time to do something.

He wants to put something on the books to ban smoking at playgrounds, within 30 feet of play equipment.

“I think we owe it to our children to have them safe when they are playing in our parks,” he said.

The issue came up after resident Nicole Bump appeared before the Town Council last month, asking councilors to consider making Derry’s parks smoke-free zones.

She said when she takes her children to play at Don Ball or Hood Park, it’s often a nuisance when other park visitors are lighting up close to the playground equipment.

There has been some opposition to a possible anti-smoking law.

Resident Mike Gill told councilors earlier this month he would not be in favor of such a rule.

Gill, a non-smoker, said he wouldn’t want to see the Town Council get involved in the matter, saying New Hampshire was a “stand your ground” state.

Town Councilor Neil Wetherbee disagreed with Gill and said it would be a good time to have the discussion and get the smoking issue on a future agenda.

“Let’s see if and how we could ban smoking,” he said, “and where we stand as a council.”

Councilors will keep the smoking ban issue on the table as the new year begins.