Bellingham Bans Smoking in City Parks

Smoke-Free Park

New smoking ban in Bellingham to be adopted and smokers will no longer be allowed to use their tobacco or electronic cigarettes in any city park. The ban includes also cigars. The Council took the decision on November 9 with six votes for and one against. However, it needs a final voting before the rule comes into action.

The council who opposed the ban is Terry Bornemann, who said he supports smoking ban in kids playgrounds but disagrees with idea to impose a 100% smoking ban in parks. Here he talks about personal freedoms and rights.

It should be said that the ban does not include alleys, sidewalks and streets located 25 feet of doors of public places or businesses which are already covered by the state law.  Smoking is not allowed inside city buildings.

The author of the ban is Councilman Jack Weiss and he explained that the ban is important to improve people’s health by reducing exposure to secondhand smoke. He referred to the U.S. Surgeon General’s report. However, he considers that the enforcement may be difficult.

There exists a list of activities that are not permitted to be done in parks (for example, selling things), but up to date none of them were connected to protection of resident’s health.

Bellingham Police Chief Cliff Cook told that the ban enforcement would have a low priority for his department, because they do not have enough personnel for that. Thus the smoking ban will rely on people’s liability.

The will be installed no-smoking signs at the entrances in city parks.

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