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Whitewater Common Council Aiming For Healthier Community

Whitewater’s Common Council debated last night the potential of prohibiting smoking and vaping in city parks. Councilmembers discussed the negative impacts of smoking and vaping in addition to inhaling second hand smoke or vape, and how vulnerable populations should be protected from these consequences. However, there was further discussion that this may be unenforceable, or be seen as government overreach. Additionally, the council feared this could be seen as discriminatory, as many people who smoke fall into the lower income category, or are veterans. This topic is likely to be discussed at future meetings, with a greater focus on keeping members of the public safe and healthy, and not prohibiting smoking and vaping in city parks all together. Additionally, it was decided to keep the city’s mask ordinance in effect until at least March 31, with the possibility for it to extend even longer. The city is reportedly doing fairly well against COVID-19, compared to other communities.