The parks of Ontario, Calif. will soon be tobacco- and smoke-free after a ban was passed unanimously by the Ontario City Council at its Aug. 21 meeting.
The ban, which covers traditional tobacco products, marijuana and tobacco alternatives such as e-cigarettes is scheduled to go into effect 30 days followings its passage, according to the version of the ordinance posted on the city’s website.
The push to ban smoking and tobacco use in parks was led by a group of teens that are part of the city’s Teen Action Committee (TAC). “I am extremely proud to live and be part of a community, where our young people are taking charge of the future, and doing their part to make Ontario a better place for all us,” said Mayor Paul Leon via a press release. The ordinance was drafted by the TAC with the assistance of city staff, the city attorney and the Ontario Police Department. It was first presented to the Recreation and Parks Commission, then the Planning Commission, and finally the City Council.
The ban covers all areas of city-owned parks including the parking lots, but does not extend to city-owned golf courses, where smoking will still be allowed.
After a period of one year, violators will be subject to monetary fines for smoking in parks, with a first offense coming with a $50 fine that increases to $100 for a second violation in a one-year period or $200 for each additional violation within that time frame.
Ontario is located just under 40 miles east of Los Angeles with a population of approximately 173,000 residents.