October 16, 2019
Lewiston-Auburn Latest News | Bangor Council Race | Bangor Metro | Jessica Meir | Today's Paper

Lewiston City Council bans tobacco use in public parks

Jenny Kane | AP
Jenny Kane | AP
This March 28, 2019, photo shows cigarette butts in an ashtray in New York.

Tobacco use will no longer be permitted in public parks, playgrounds and athletic fields in Lewiston.

The Lewiston Sun Journal reports that city councilors on Tuesday unanimously approved the ban.

The ordinance prohibits smoking and use of all tobacco products, including vaping and e-cigarettes, in city-owned parks and recreational facilities, according to the agenda for the Tuesday council meeting.

The penalty for a first offense is $100, with it rising in $100 increments for successive violations, the Sun Journal reports.

Lewiston is the latest Maine city to move to restrict tobacco use in public spaces out of concern for its impact on public health. Earlier this month, the Saco City Council banned tobacco products from public spaces. In July, the Brunswick Town Council approved an ordinance prohibiting smoking and vaping between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. in downtown.

Other communities, such as Houlton and Bangor, have prohibited smoking in certain public parks. The Bangor ban, approved by the City Council in 2016, only includes playgrounds, swimming pools, ball fields and other amenities geared toward children rather than all city parks.

In 2017, the Legislature overrode a veto from then-Gov. Paul LePage to raise the legal age for buying tobacco products from 18 to 21.

Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths a year in the United States, including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It accounts for 1 in 5 deaths annually, the CDC reports.

 



Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

You may also like