The parks of Gresham, Ore. are officially going smoke free today, but park users will get a six-month reprieve from a fine should they light up.
On May 16, the Gresham City Council approved a ban on the use of all forms of tobacco as well as e-cigarettes, vaporizers, and hookahs in city parks, trails, or open space areas. The only exception is for the smoking of non-commercial tobacco products for ceremonial purposes in spaces designated for traditional ceremonies in accordance with the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, as well as for similar religious ceremonial uses for other cultural groups.
While the ban officially went into effect 30 days after its passage, a provision was written in that enforcement of shall not occur until six months after its effective date, so as to allow time for staff to educate the public about the prohibitions.
Once that six month period expires, violators of the ban can face a fine of up to $500.
Gresham is located in northwestern Oregon, approximately 15 miles east of Portland.