As a minor measure of protest to the City Council’s action, Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether will not sign the tobacco-free ordinance passed by the City Council last week.

The Council amended the proposed ordinance to only ban smoking around youth at playgrounds and at youth events. Huether says it’s not just youth that need protection.

“I wish this new ordinance that is aimed at protecting youth and youth activities extended these protections to people of all ages. It’s not just youth that are impacted by the devastating effects of tobacco.”

Councilor Christine Erickson who brought forth the amendment wanted the Mayor’s support, but feels this is the current path the citizens want to take.

“It’s unfortunate. I think that saying you’re going to work with us is great. By signing (the ordinance), you’re sending that (strong) message because you’re putting that pen to the paper.”

Almost 80 minutes of public testimony preceded the Council’s action which will eventually take effect on January 6, 2017.

The main focus of these efforts will include educating the public on its damaging effects and to diminish tobacco use throughout Sioux Falls.

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