WASHINGTON – As the D.C. council considers a smoking ban in city parks and near playgrounds, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton is calling on the National Park Service to institute a smoking ban in all NPS parks in the District.
Norton wrote a letter to NPS Regional Director Steve Whitesell asking the park service to ban smoking in all parks, sites and trails within the District.
“Residents and visitors should be able to enjoy our parks free of health risks, including second-hand smoke, which contributes to asthma, bronchitis, cancer and other severe health conditions,” she writes.
A bill to ban smoking in all city parks and within 25 feet of a playground is currently pending before the D.C. Council.
However, given that a majority of the parks in D.C. are owned by the park service, Norton is reaching out to extend the ban.
Norton says the park service has the authority to institute the ban that would include not just the National Mall, but Rock Creek, Anacostia and Fort Dupont parks.
WTOP’s Kate Ryan contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.