Smoking Ban in Baltimore County Parks

Smoking Ban

County Council of Baltimore approved this week a new law that bans smoking in parts of Baltimore County parks. The law passed with the majority of votes. Thus smoking will be prohibited at athletic fields, tot lots, playgrounds, dog parks and within 30 feet of recreation buildings. Those who will violate the law would pay a fine of $50.

According to Councilman David Marks, a Perry Hall Republican, this is a good law that will help greatly to improve public health in Baltimore County.

The bill is supported by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network who speaks about the necessity to focus on areas where kids gather. Several members of the Council wanted a smoking ban in all parks, but others opposed saying that this measure is too severe. For example, the law will not prohibit smoking at pavilions, which people rent for family events.

Council Chairwoman Cathy Bevins, a Middle River Democrat, says that smoking generally is legal action and therefore it should be allowed in pavilions.

Mike Pierce, Kingsville resident and member of the Cromwell Valley Park Council, told the law has nothing to do with their park as it has no tot lot,  designated playground, dog park, athletic field.

Aslo Council wants to ban smoking on all public festivals. Pierce said that the aim of the bill is to protect kids from secondhand smoke. The legislation will do nothing for Cromwell Valley, which hosts events that gather many children on such events as Easter egg hunt and fall festival.

Councilman John Olszewski Sr., a Dundalk Democrat, was not present on the Council voting because he is ill. In case County Executive Kevin Kamenetz signs the Bill, it takes effect in 45 days.

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