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Property owners mull Eugene smoking ban participation

Some city leaders hope to extend the ban citywide.

Posted: Jul 24, 2018 7:01 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- With the Eugene City Council passing a smoking ban in public rights-of-ways in the downtown core, many property owners are thinking about opting in or out while some city leaders hope to extend the ban citywide.

"We're eventually going to go citywide with the ban," said Eugene City Councilor Greg Evans of Ward 6. "I'm looking forward to that, but this is an incredibly important first step for us."

While Councilor Evans hope to have a citywide ban one day, city administrators said at this time there are no plans. They hope to have a website up where property owners can opt in or out before the law goes into effect.

Property owners inside the downtown core will need to opt out with the city if they want the public to be able to smoke in public rights-of-ways near their property. But city leaders say any property owners in the city can opt in as well.

Catherine Wells at Peak Medical Clinic, located just outside the ban area, said they're interested in joining and would support a citywide ban.

"Especially with our patents coming in and out of the parking lot and up and down the street," Wells said. "We don't want them exposed to the toxins and the smoking that is frequent."

A spokeswoman for the Lane Transit District said they plan to opt in with not just Eugene Station but all of their bus stops in the city to better enforce their current policies.

Smoker Linda Southwood said she supports the ban in the downtown core but can't get behind a citywide ban.

"People have the right to smoke if they want," Southwood said. "I understand businesses. They don't want people to smoke in front of the businesses, but walking down the street down the sidewalk, it seems you should have the right to do that."

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