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      Macomb approves smoke-free parks

      The Macomb City Council approved a resolution Monday night that will prohibit smoking in both Chandler Park and Compton Park.

      Macomb Mayor Mike Inman said there was no opposition to the resolution amongst council members. It will be adopted at next week's council meeting.

      The resolution affects only Chandler and Compton Park because those are the only parks owned by the city. All other city parks fall under control of the Macomb Park District.

      The McDonough County Health Department is spearheading the initiative through the "We Choose Health" grant that would fund signs and other programs throughout the parks.

      Currently, the state only enforces the Smoke-Free Illinois Act of 2008, which prohibits smoking in most public and work places.

      Brett Stahl with the health department says that should also include Macomb's city parks.

      "Smoke is heavier than air, so when there's no breeze at all, you need the width of a two lane highway at a minimum to be away from second hand smoke," Stahl said.

      Inman says he's heard concerns from members about enforcing such a ban.

      "We certainly appreciate and understand that we should be building a healthy environment, particularly for children to grow up in, and there may be some concern on some of the council's part that we need to promote that sort of environment here in the park, but don't know that it needs to be from an ordinance prohibition level," Inman said.

      Inman says, generally, smokers who use area parks are night owls who take breaks outside night clubs, when police are on other calls.