On Thursday, the Board of Commissioners in Thurston County, Wash. passed a proposed smoking, tobacco and vaping ban for the county’s parks, preserves and trails.
The ban, which goes into effect immediately, makes the use of any tobacco product, vaping device or marijuana a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine of up to $250. The ordinance includes a statement of purpose of protecting visitors and volunteers from the known dangers of secondhand smoke and to prevent initiation of tobacco use, which the county says currently sits at 14 percent of adults. That rate also applies to 12th grade students, with 23 percent using vaping devices and 26 percent using either cigarettes, vapes, or both products.
Thurston County is located in the south Puget Sound area, approximately 70 miles southwest of Seattle. It is home to an estimated 270,000 residents.