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.

Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.