A new parks smoking ban goes into effect today in Gaithersburg, Md., one of a handful of anti-smoking changes enacted by the city last October.
Beginning today, smoking and vaping on all municipal property is prohibited with only a few exceptions. The ban prohibits the use of cigarettes, cigars, vaping and e-cigarettes in all public buildings and on public property in general, including all areas of parks. The previous smoking ban did not include vaping or e-cigarettes and only applied to enclosed public spaces and to areas that were within 25 feet of the playground equipment in city parks.
The new law also extends the smoking and vaping ban to all city-owned vehicles and could impact public ways such as roads when they are being temporarily used for city parades, festivals and other events. Vaping and e-cigarettes have also been banned in places previously identified as no smoking areas, such as elevators, restrooms, healthcare facilities, retail establishments and restaurants, shared work spaces, schools and theaters.
Retail tobacco shops retain their exemption from the ban, as do bars and clubs.
Gaithersburg is located approximately 40 miles southwest of Baltimore and has a population of approximately 66,000 residents.