The Athens City Council passed an ordinance last night that will ban smoking in all city parks as well as city-owned parking lots, a change that will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015 and carry a fine of $50 for those who violate it. The fine can also be applied to people who throw cigarette butts on city sidewalks or streets.
The law covers all forms of tobacco, including cigars and pipes, as well as cigarettes, chewing tobacco, snuff or any other tobacco products. While it doesn’t include electronic cigarettes, ThePostAthens.com reports that those products are on the radar as well to possibly be prohibited.
This new proposal has been in the works since October, with the council getting its first look at it in early November. Ohio University, which is in Athens, will be going completely tobacco-free beginning with the Fall 2015 semester, a move that will make it hard for a number of adults to use tobacco products, though that didn’t seem to bother Councilwoman Jennifer Cochran, who said that smokers will simply need to adapt.
Athens is located in southern Ohio and home to approximately 25,000 residents.