Boston Mayor Thomas Menino is expected to sign an ordinance that would ban cigarettes, marijuana and other “lighted or vaporized” substances in 251 parks, squares, cemeteries and other open spaces run by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department.
The ordinance would go into effect in a few weeks, costing anyone caught lighting up in the designated areas $250.
City officials have said they have been trying to minimize the amount of smoking that occurs in public parks. But the problem has intensified, as many private buildings and universities have banned smoking on their properties.
Nick Martin, a spokesman for the Boston Public Health Commission, told the Boston Globe that the ordinance would provide an enforcement mechanism for a two-year-old ban on smoking in the city’s 130 "tot lots." Anyone caught smoking there also would be subject to the fine.
“This is the next logical step in creating healthy environments,” Martin said.