OSWEGO, NY – At this week’s committee meetings, Council President Ron Kaplewicz requested a discussion regarding a smoke-free farmers’ market.
He said he has talked with the chamber director and the mayor about the idea. He said he also went to the market to see what was going on there.
“Depending on who you were talking to, there were definitely different opinions on the subject,” he said. “A couple of vendors that I did talk to one thought it was a good idea, another didn’t care much whether it did or didn’t. Another woman thought it would be a great idea. And from walking around the market, just observing, I think it would be something that would benefit the community.”
He added, it is an outdoor market, but there were “many kids inhaling second-hand smoke.”
If smoking was restricted, at least in the area of the market, “there would be plenty room for those who want to go catch a breath of un-fresh air just outside the market,” he said.
Technically, they only have control over the (closed) street and not the sidewalks for the market, explained Beth Hilton, executive director of the chamber.
She talked with a few downtown merchants. One found it an interesting concept and another was vehemently opposed to it, she told the councilors.
“My biggest concern would be enforcement,” she said. “I did contact the State Farm Market Federation. They were not aware of any outdoor markets that were part of the federation that were smoke-free.”
“Are we talking about teen-agers smoking? Or is it adults?” asked Councilor Connie Cosemento. “We’re giving something else for our police department to enforce, and it’s an impossible situation.”
The committee sent the request to the full council for further consideration.