BANGOR, Maine — Bangor’s smokers may soon have to be more careful about where they light up a cigarette.
The City Council is expected to consider a ban on smoking in many of the city’s public parks during its next meeting on Monday, Aug. 22. The ordinance would add smoking to the list of activities not allowed in public parks, a list that already included drinking alcohol and starting fires.
The ban, as it was written Monday, doesn’t cover all parks. It was scaled back after initial committee discussions to only cover public parks with playgrounds, swimming pools, sports fields and other amenities “specifically constructed for use by children.”
As originally written, the ban would have included more about 40 public spaces. After cutting it down to include parks geared toward children, there are a dozen on the list, including Bangor Gardens, Stillwater Park, Little City Park, Dakin Park and Broadway Park. Among those not included are Summit Park, where the Thomas Hill Standpipe is, Davenport Park, Cascade Park and Bangor Municipal Golf Course.
The council could add more parks to the list before making a final vote next week.
Councilor Gibran Graham said he was interested in including more parks that host events that parents are encouraged to bring children to, not just ones that include facilities geared toward children.
The idea, councilors say, is to reduce the chances of second-hand smoke and its adverse health effects reaching children. A Bangor resident brought forward the idea of banning smoking in the city’s parks.
The ban includes cigarettes, cigars and pipes, as well as electronic smoking devices.
Tracy Willette, Bangor’s parks and recreation director, said signs would be installed at the parks included in the ordinance.
In 2009, Maine lawmakers passed a bill banning smoking in state park “common areas,” such as beaches, playgrounds, snack bars and group picnic shelters.
National parks have banned smoking inside park buildings and have discretion to ban smoking in certain areas outdoors.
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