Opponents of Boston’s new smoking ban stage ‘smoke out’ protest in Boston Common

Boston Parks and Recreation has adopted a smoking ban in city parks. Credit: Getty Images
Boston Parks and Recreation has adopted a smoking ban in city parks. Credit: Getty Images

A group of local smokers and opponents of Boston’s new ban on smoking and vaporizing in public parks, beaches, squares and cemeteries staged a protest Saturday on Boston Common in an effort to repeal the ban.

Organizers of “Boston Common Smoke Out/Vape Up!” explained their gripe on a Facebook event page, saying they plan to stage similar protests until the city takes action:

“As concerned citizens who spend much leisure time on the Common and other Parks, we are outraged to learn that there will now be a $250.00 fine for smoking outdoors in a Park in Boston!

This ban is for smokers and those who use vaporizers, and will be -selectively- enforced at the discretion of the BPD or Park Rangers, if they want a reason to harass you (or otherwise interfere in your life).

As Citizens of, and Visitors to the Commonwealth and to Boston, we reject the Nanny State ban on smoking outdoors, we recognize this as unenforceable at best and selectively enforceable at worst, we see potential enforcement as a huge waste of tax revenue, and we will disobey this ordinance on the third weekend of every month until the ban has been repealed.”

According to one of the protesters, the event went off without a hitch.

“It rained,then snowed.Everybody smoked & vaped,The police were there but didn’t bother to leave their cars.The Boston Globe & 104.1 were there interviewing everybody.Zero tickets written! It was a success!,” Stake Airbrushing reported on the event page.

The smoking ban, which went into effect in late December, aims to reduce the threat of second hand smoke inhalation and cigarette litter, and also strives dissuade young people from picking up the habit, according to the Boston Public Health Commission.

Although city officials said they plan on letting smokers slide with warnings until a public outreach campaign gains momentum, smokers will eventually face a $250 fine.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS

 


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