HOUSTON, Texas - It s about to become even harder for smokers to light up in Houston.

The City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department and Houston Public Library have plans to ban smoking and tobacco products at all of their locations.

Well, health is a big issue of it, but I will tell you if anybody has to pick up just one cigarette butt, it s too many. So from a clean standpoint, too, it s for the staff to where we can work to try to keep our parks cleaner, said Joe Turner, Houston Parks Director.
Almost 1,000 American cities have already banned smoking in their parks. Houston is the biggest city in the country that still allows it.

This decision is based on a desire to protect the health of our residents, said Mayor Annise Parker. Millions of Houstonians, many of them children, utilize our city parks and libraries. They deserve to be able to play and learn without being exposed to harmful secondhand smoke. Likewise, city employees at these facilities also deserve healthy work environments.
Smokers who refuse to extinguish their butts could face fines of up to $2,000. The new rules are expected to take place the day after Labor Day.

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