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Atlanta Approves Ban on Smoking in Parks

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The Atlanta City Council approved a ban on smoking in city parks, with fines of up to $1,000, six months in jail or community service for those who light up.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports penalties will be up to the discretion of judges. Violations will not be reported to the Georgia Crime Information Center, so that citations will not create a criminal record for teenagers or job seekers, according to a city attorney.

The measure, which bans smoking or carrying lit tobacco products in city parks, will take effect immediately after being signed by Mayor Kasim Reed, who supported it. Other backers included public health activists, representatives of downtown businesses and high school students.

The American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation lists 625 municipalities that have smoke-free park laws as of July 1, 2012.

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