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Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

SLIDELL- The more than 30 parks and/or playgrounds around the City of Slidell are heavily used by families on a daily basis, even more so when the city holds free public events like concerts and movie nights.

But with those crowds come complaints about smoking.

'Usually we just talk to the people and say look, this family is complaining, they have children, would you mind moving and 99 percent of the time they're understanding,' said Director of Cultural and Public Affairs Alex Carollo.

In Covington, similar complaints at one of its ball parks led to leaders expanding the smoking ban ordinance Tuesday from no smoking inside municipal buildings and facilities to no smoking outside at public parks and playgrounds, specified by the city.

Slidell took notice.

Carollo said, 'Which led to our Facebook post where we asked would our citizens be in favor of banning smoking in public parks and the response has been interesting.'

Some commented against a ban of any sort, and some wanted a complete ban, but the majority suggested designated smoking areas as a good compromise. We got similar responses from people we interviewed around Slidell Friday.

'I don't necessarily believe it should be banned all together,' said smoker Jake Davis. 'I do agree with having possibly a designated smoking area.'

'It's kind of hard to designate a particular area for smoking because it travels, it's in the air, it doesn't have a certain spot that it stays,' said Dr. Takenas Reese-Jones, a non-smoker.

John Nugent, a smoker, said, 'To ban it from all parks and any public place is not right. It's just like, you're outside.'

'Possibly a designated smoking area, as long as it's away from where the kids are playing,' said Carlis Jackson, a non-smoker. 'I don't know how you'll be able to balance that medium with the adults watching their kids.'

While the conversation is not an official one among Slidell city leaders at this time, it's becoming one in circles around town.

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