Tobacco-free zones proposed for Klamath Falls

Klamath Falls, Ore. – An effort is underway to make downtown Klamath Falls, and city parks tobacco-free.

The Klamath Falls city council asked the public who was in favor, and who was against the proposal Monday night.

Feelings were strong on both sides of the issue.

Alex Taylor of Klamath Falls said, “I want to be able to breathe fresh, clean air – and I can’t do that if someone’s smoking around me.”

Business owner Haywood Macabre said, “This will move business from downtown, this will make people go, ‘Well, I can’t smoke here – I can go to that bar across town and spend the same money.'”

A draft proposal calls for a fine of up to $250 for those caught smoking downtown.

Greg Adams says that will put an unfair restriction on both of his businesses. “That are single-person run.  If they need to take a break, they’ve got to shut down the business and go out back to smoke, and I don’t feel that’s right.”

Katherine Pope of Sky Lakes Wellness Center also spoke before council. She said, “I haven’t always attended or stayed at events downtown because there is so much smoke that I didn’t want to expose my son to, that I didn’t want to expose myself to.”

The prohibition would also apply to smokeless tobacco.

Council did not vote on the issue Monday night.

They’ve asked staff to draft ordinances to be written for parks, and the downtown area.

They’ll review those proposals again next month.

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