We generally cringe when government noses its way into civil liberties. But the Newport Beach City Council should go ahead and ban smoking in public parks.
This is a safety issue. Some of the properties considered parks are actually rolling open spaces that make them vulnerable to fires. Other parks were built for children, who shouldn't have their recreation spoiled by smoke.
Then there's litter. We know plenty of smokers are courteous and properly dispose of their butts, but too many aren't, squashing filters on the ground or snuffing them into the sand. Such practices put birds at risk, as well as sea life, because filters so easily blow into the bay, ocean and storm drains.