The city of Twin Falls is one step closer to having smoking banned in all city parks and trails.

Currently, Twin Falls currently has a smoking ban in children playing areas at six of their parks. A full-on smoking ban already exists at the Sunway Soccer Complex, City Pool, Sawtooth Softball Complex, and Frontier Park, and College of Southern Idaho campus in Twin Falls.

However, after a vote on August 13 by the Twin Falls Commission, that could change and smoking could be banned at all city parks and trails.

During the Twin Falls Park and Recreation Commission meeting Tuesday, members of the committee were able to voice their opinions on banning or creating an ordinance to enforce smoking in city parks.

A highlight of the discussion included talking about how the ordinance or ban would be enforced. Currently, the Parks and Recreation Department said their staff asks people at smoke-free complexes to go elsewhere (to their car) or to leave the parks. However, they said they don't believe it is being enforced when their staff isn't present, or during adult games by the umpires.

After a nearly half-hour discussion, the Commission voted in favor, during a 5-2 vote, of a motion recommending the Twin Falls City Council prohibit smoking at all city parks and trails.

If an ordinance were passed by the City Council in the future, community members would be able to take a photo of someone smoking and send it to local law enforcement. Then, if local law enforcement did arrive at the park and the person smoking was present, they would be able to enforce the ordinance.

The last time a smoking ban was recommended by the Commission was in 2010. At that time, the Commission approved to pass a smoking ban in five city parks. However, ultimately the ban for the parks failed, as the City Council was not in favor of the ban.

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