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Bastrop Prohibits Cigarettes In Parks

The nine parks in the city of Bastrop will soon be cigarettes-free, thanks to the Board of Aldermen.

At Thursday night's meeting, the board voted unanimously in favor of the ban after hearing public comments on the matter. The ban includes all buy cigarettes products, including chewing and smokeless cigarettes.

At the board's June meeting, members approved an ordinance that would ban the use of any cheap cigarettes products during public events at any of the city's parks.

Mayor Betty Alford-Olive said she was very grateful for the participation of Bastrop's residents.

"This was obviously an important issue," Alford-Olive said. "I very much appreciate the involvement of our citizens."

Alford-Olive said the issue had been brought before the board earlier this summer.

"We've talked about this for a while now," Alford-Olive said. "We spoke to two citizens who had opposing viewpoints on this matter."

Alford-Olive said the decision for the ban was made in the best interest of the city's residents. However, she acknowledged the board's Thursday decision may not be permanent.

"We'll just have to wait and see how people feel," Alford-Olive said. "Moving forward, this is an issue that could change."

Alford-Olive said the city passed a smoking cigarettes ordinance in 2007 which banned smoking cigarettes within 15 feet of public places, including parts of the parks that have seating areas and bleachers. She said violators of the ban would be issued citations, with fines set at $25 for the first offense, $50 for the second offense and $100 for subsequent offenses.

The cigarettes online ban takes effect Jan. 1.