Ashland Looking to Expand Smoking Ban - Outdoors

ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) - When Ashland and its major hospital went smoke free, it pushed smokers outside.

Now the city is dealing with an unintended consequence - what to do about the smokers congregating in the area's main park.

City officials are studying whether to ban smoking in Central Park or if expanding the smoke-free zone around nearby King's Daughters Medical Center will take care of complaints about cigarette butts littering the ground and smoke filling the air in the green space.

The issue arose after residents in the neighborhood around the hospital and park users complained about litter and smoke along the park's sidewalk, a popular walking track. The city has been cleaning the area more frequently since January and put trash bins in the area, but the problem persists.

The city also formed a committee to recommend a solution to the city commission.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
AP-NY-06-23-07 1300EDT