The Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George’s, neighboring counties just to the north of Washington, DC, are have joined forces on a bill that would prohibit smoking on county parkland. The two counties have co-sponsored the proposal, which was introduced before the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis on February 7, as it would require their approval before it could be enacted.

For Montgomery County, the move would further expand their existing smoking ban, which covers a majority of public places including government buildings, work places and a significant number of restaurants, as well as county property such as bus stops, parking garages and outdoor recreation areas.

Del. Benjamin F. Kramer, D-Dist. 19, of Derwood in Montgomery County, led the drafting of the proposal and told Gazette.net that there were three main reasons why the Assembly should support it: that there is “no safe level of exposure” to smoke, that it would help reduce litter and help reduce environmental damage tobacco trash can cause by leaching into the soil and the aquifer.

The bill does allow for the counties to create areas in the park for employee smoking, terms that were added to the bill after its original drafting to help overcome possible objections that park employees who smoke would have no area do so. In addition, it provides the ability for the counties to exclude facilities rented out for events as well as certain areas such as golf courses.

The proposal has already gained the support of the Montgomery County planning board. The bill is scheduled to be heard by the Assembly on March 5.

 

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.