Published Date Written by Craig LyonsAs the city begins its ban of smoking in Portland's parks and open spaces Wednesday, the primary goal is going to be educating people about the prohibition, officials said.
"This is new to people, so education is key right now," said city spokeswoman Nicole Clegg.
The areas included in the smoking prohibition include any parcel that would require someone to obtain a permit for a public function. The parks included in the ban include Monument Square, Deering Oaks Park, Lincoln Park, Longfellow Square, Congress Square and the Eastern Promenade. The ban would also include Oatnuts Park, University Park, Heseltine Park, Presumpscot River Preserve and Quarry Run and the Valley Street dog park.
The education efforts and enforcement of the smoking prohibition will be left to police officers, park rangers and code enforcement officers, according to the ordinance. Failure to comply with the ordinance could result in a $50 fine.
The city is working with the Parks Commission to develop signage to make people aware of the smoking rules when they go into Portland's parks, according to Clegg.
"These smoke-free ordinances are just another example of how the City of Portland is working to create a healthy and safe community for its residents," said Mayor Michael Brennan, in a statement. "Secondhand smoke is a dangerous toxin and whether it's children on a swing set or joggers circling the Back Cove or someone walking their dog along the Eastern Prom, we need to make sure we are doing everything we can to reduce the exposure to such a serious health hazard."
The ordinance was drafted and passed with the goal of improving public health by eliminating second-hand smoke from public parks and open spaces, according to the city.
The city has already banned smoking in food service establishments and within 20 feet of city-owned beaches, trails, playgrounds and athletic facilities.