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Cigarettes Banned in City Parks?

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First they came for your barbecue grills, and you didn't speak out because you just microwave your meals.

Now they may be coming for your cigs.

Discussion at City Council today included talk of banning smoking in city parks because of the fire danger brought on by the drought.

Mayor Annise Parker said she would consider a ban. Anyone flipping a butt on the ground right now is breaking the anti-littering ordinance, of course, but it can be difficult to catch someone in the act.

Seeing someone puffing away is easier.

Councilmember Anne Clutterbuck said a ban would be strictly drought-related.

"It's not a comment on smoking or the morality of it," she said. "But it's more a comment on the use of any flame in our city parks during a state of emergency."

We guess you could retire to your car for a quick smoke, but what about the softball guys lighting up in the outfield?

Now, if the drought goes on for a long time, as predicted, will it make it more unlikely that the ban will be lifted even after the rain returns? Tough to say.

But smoke `em while you can. Just be damn careful where you put them out.

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