Against the recommendation of the city's parks board, city Parks superintendent Tim Gallagher issued a new rule that bans smoking, chewing tobacco, and any other tobacco use in all city parks. The parks board, along with the city council, had recommended restricting smoking only in areas of parks with high concentrations of children, like playgrounds.

In a letter announcing the new policy, Gallagher wrote, "The negative health effects of tobacco are well documented.  As an agency that has as a fundamental mission to support the health and wellbeing of Seattle residents, it is appropriate and beneficial to prohibit the use of tobacco products at parks and park facilities."

Starting April 1, anyone caught smoking in a city park will be subject to temporary exclusion from that park—up to one day for the first offense, seven days for the second, and 30 days for the third offense. After that, offenders may be arrested. Advocates for the homeless argued that the ban, like the parks exclusion ordinance, would disproportionately target homeless people.