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New Carlisle has banned smoking at its local pool, continuing the city’s goal to promote a healthy environment.

The ban is in part of a resolution city council members approved in 2016 prohibiting smoking around playground equipment, swimming pools, bleachers and more.

Smokers who violate the rule will be asked to leave, but won’t receive fines or penalties.

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“We tried to, as a whole at parks and especially at the pool, promote a healthy lifestyle,” New Carlisle Mayor Mike Lowrey said. “It’s about getting kids out, getting families out, to have a healthy lifestyle and getting exercise.”

The New Carlisle outdoor pool opened on Memorial Day weekend for the season. It was a busy weekend for the facility, Lowrey said, and the city has gotten positive feedback about the change.

Several New Carlisle residents said they supported the smoking ban.

Janelle Loudenback, mother of four girls ranging in age from 3 months to 7 years and an avid New Carlisle poolgoer, came out on Monday and said it was wonderful there. She’s extremely excited about the change.

“Now when we’re here at the pool, we don’t have to worry about getting second-hand smoke or kids stepping on cigarette butts and so forth. It just makes us a little more comfortable,” Loudenback said.

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Smoking already is banned at several other places like restaurants and businesses, she pointed out.

“It’s just peace of mind to know that we can be safe and healthy here at the pool,” Loudenback said.

It’s a great idea, said Sarah Benable, a mother of two and New Carlisle resident.

“It’s definitely a child friendly place and there’s really no need for anyone to be smoking,” Benable said.

Lowrey knows not everyone agrees with the decision and said residents who smoke will still have options.

“I know there are a lot of people out there that do smoke,” he said. “If they do come to the pool, they can still smoke. They just have to step out, out the front door, 50 feet away from the pool itself.”

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The Springfield News-Sun digs into important public health issues, including a year-long series on Springfield’s health status and the ongoing drug overdose epidemic in Clark County.