PORTLAND – The City Council on Monday voted to ban smoking in 36 city parks and open spaces, including Monument Square. The ban is intended to protect people from second-hand smoke, said City Councilor Edward Suslovic, who leads the Public Safety, Health and Human Services Committee.
"The purpose of this is not to punish smokers," Suslovic said. "The purpose of this is to protect nonsmokers from exposure to second-hand smoke."
The ban, which takes effect March 6, does not apply to sidewalks abutting the parks outlined in the city code, but it does apply to benches within those parks.
Smoking is already prohibited within 20 feet of playgrounds, beaches and athletic fields, including the Riverside Golf Course.
The ordinance bans smoking in parks where a permit is required for a public function, such as Tommy's Park, Post Office Park, Monument Square, Deering Oaks park and Lincoln Park.
Smoking also will not be allowed on the Eastern or Western promenades.
Other popular spots that will be affected include Baxter Woods, Bell Buoy Park, Capisic Pond Park, Lobsterman Park, Longfellow Square, Payson Park and University Park.
The ban also applies to Oat Nuts Park, Heseltine Park and Presumpscot River Preserve, the Valley Street and Quarry Run dog parks, and others.
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