Shoppers at the Waterworks Mall will no longer be allowed to smoke, even on the sidewalks and in the parking lot.
As you might imagine, not everyone supports the decision. Channel 11’s Jodine Costanzo reported Walmart doesn’t plan on enforcing the ban.
As of Thursday, new signs were posted around the complex banning smoking.
“To just ban it altogether is a violation of our rights,” said Rob Schram.
Property manager J.J. Gumberg said they’re not trying to alienate smokers.
“Smoking will be prohibited at the entire shopping center, including sidewalks, parking lots and loading areas,” Gumberg said. “It is our belief that an environment free of second-hang smoke is a healthier, cleaner and safer one.”
Some shoppers told Costanzo they’re in favor of the new ban.
“It’s great. Usually you come out and expect to be smoke-free, but get in the car and say, ‘Why do I smell like smoke?’” Niki Crouse said. “With having children, too, it’s great.”
Gumberg said he believes this is the first shopping center in the city and possibly the state to go no-smoking outside.
It’s not the law, but a move the company felt compelled to make.
Walmart is the only tenant not following the policy. The company said they felt having workers and customers cross the street to smoke would pose a safety risk.