Proposed smoking ban is the first of its kind in the state

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The Sioux Falls Public Health Department is pushing a new ordinance that would ban smokers from lighting up on city-owned property.
If passed, the outdoor smoking ban would be the first of its kind in South Dakota.

Michael Hawks walks his dog, Teddy every day.
Hawks is a smoker.

“I’ve smoked since I was 20 I’m 61 now,” he stated.

But he thinks a city property smoking ban wouldn't be a bad idea.

“A lot of my friends have breathing problems, and the smoke bothers them, so I could see for the sake of them that it's a good thing,” Hawks reasoned.

The ban would keep people from smoking in several areas of the city including parks, ball fields and the entire PREMIER Center campus.

“It would quite simply be all that are owned, or leased, or managed for the city,” Public health director Jill Franken said.

The ban also includes the sidewalks bordering the properties.
Franked says it's all for a good cause.
She says 3 people die every day in South Dakota from tobacco related diseases.

“To help us impact really the leading cause of preventable death in our United States right now and to help decrease the rate of death and disease in Sioux Falls because of tobacco use,” Franken said.

Hawks say for the sake of others, he can just smoke at home.

“I think we got to consider the common good,” he explained.

Franken says she wants to be clear, the ban doesn't include downtown Sioux Falls or all city sidewalks.
She says if the ban is passed, the city will work to educate the public about the new policy over the winter months before it is enforced.

The Sioux Falls city council will hear the proposal at an informational meeting Tuesday afternoon.