Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Smoking Ban Passes

There is no risk-free level of exposure to second hand smoke, so I’m glad we unanimously passed my bill to ban smoking on most property leased or owned by the County. As stewards of public health, we are responsible for protecting residents, employees and visitors from dangerous exposure.

The approved bill included recommended amendments from its original form suggested by the Council’s Health and Human Services Committee. The committee recommended that the bill expand the ban to bus stops and bus shelters.

Another amendment allows the County’s director of Health and Human Services to designate outdoor smoking areas on certain County properties. This change was made with concerns on the impact the bill could have on County-owned and -leased facilities that house programs used to treat people with addictions. It was pointed out that prohibiting smoking in these types of facilities could negatively impact the treatment of people who are stepping down from hard drugs.

The ban also does not prohibit smoking on County-owned golf courses. The only public course this currently impacts is the Falls Road course in Potomac.

Another change recommended by the Health and Human Services Committee and included in the approved bill regards several County owned or leased buildings that include private residences. We decided to grandfather existing tenants but to prohibit smoking in those residences that become vacant after the effective date of the bill.

Any violation of the law is a class C civil violation. Each day a violation exists is a separate offense.


Meat Dog said...

Thanks so much for your hard work on this, Councilwoman Floreen. The county is not only doing the right thing, but as an ex-smoker I predict that there are virtually no complaints as it's implemented.

Best always,
Peter Hamm, Bethesda resident and director of National Communications, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Anonymous said...

This is typical of the county which wants to be the nanny state
This is a legal product and the state taxes the hell out of smokers.
When is the county going to approve medical marijuna

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Council Woman Floreen, for your work on totally banning smoking on all MC property. It makes all the sense in the world, and it will help everyone.