City leaders in Portland, Ore. have been discussing the idea of a parks smoking ban for some time now, with the city’s park board exploring the idea since May 2014 and a citizen advisory committee recommending one in December. This Wednesday, the city will hold a public hearing on the idea as the lead-up to a city council vote on the matter scheduled for Feb. 18.
The policy would cover all tobacco products, both smoked and non-smoked, as well as electronic cigarettes, hookahs and marijuana. It would extend to all city parks, trails and recreation areas, while city-owned golf courses would have to apply for a permit to allow smoking.
Should the council approve the proposed ordinance, it would begin July 1. Violators would be cited with a misdemeanor and could be subject to expulsion from a park should they refuse to comply with the ban.
The hearing is scheduled for 3:15 pm on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at Portland City Hall.
Portland is Oregon’s most populous city, with a population of nearly 610,000 people. The Portland metro area numbers more than 2.3 million residents.