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City Council votes to ban smoking in public parks

Boston smokers will have to light up elsewhere soon, because the city is working to ban smoking of any kind from city parks.

 Credit: Getty Images The City Council passed a ban on smoking in parks unanimously last night.
Credit: Getty Images

Boston smokers will have to light up elsewhere soon, because the city is working to ban smoking in city parks.

City Councilor Bill Linehan told the Boston Herald that the plan, which was voted on by city councilors yesterday, “passed unanimously on a voice vote.”

The new smoking ban covers cigarettes, marijuana, and even electronic cigarettes.

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“For the purposes of this subsection, the term smoking shall include inhaling, exhaling, burning or carrying any lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe or other lighted or vaporized substance in any manner or form, including marijuana used for medical or any other purpose,” the new ordinance reads.

City Councilor Matt O’Malley said at a hearing Thursday that the ban is intended to allow all Bostonians to enjoy the outdoors.

“The intent of the regulation is to protect Boston’s parks, and to ensure that Boston’s parks and recreational places are safe, clean and healthy for all residents,” O’Malley, chairman of the Committee on Government Operations, said at the hearing, according to Boston Magazine.

Once the plan is official, anyone smoking in places operated and controlled by the city would be subject to fines of up to $250.

The city previously had posted signs asking that people avoid smoking in places like playgrounds, but found that enforcing the regulations was extremely difficult.

According to the American Cancer Society, there are two kinds of secondhand smoke: sidestream smoke, which is smoke from the lit end of a cigarette, pipe or cigar; and mainstream smoke, which is exhaled by the smoker. Sidestream smoke has higher concentrations of cancer-causing agents than mainstream, as well as smaller particles, which make their way into the lungs and the body’s cells more easily.

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