Evanston’s beaches will be cigarette butt-free this summer if the full City Council adopts an ordinance approved unanimously by the Human Services Committee Monday.

The ordinance would ban smoking on the beach and in city tot lots and playgrounds all over town.

Parks Chief Doug Gaynor said the ban would not apply to city parks adjacent to the beaches or to non-playground areas of other large parks.

Gaynor says the City of Chicago has already adopted a similar ban, and a recreation board member said if Evanston doesn’t follow suit it would amount to an invitation to Chicago smokers to use Evanston beaches.

Gaynor said that in addition to second-hand-smoke concerns for beachgoers, the city has had reports of barefoot children being injured when they accidentally stepped on smoldering cigarette butts on the beaches.

And, he said, the city’s beach-cleaning machinery isn’t very effective in filtering out cigarette butts from the sand.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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