Citing a drastic increase in the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping devices, the Waterloo Leisure Services Commission has enacted a ban on the use of any tobacco or nicotine products in city-owned or operated parks and recreational facilities. The commission voted 4-0 in favor of the proposal at its meeting on Tuesday.
The ban applies to any person on such grounds and covers any product not approved by the FDA for tobacco cessation. The city’s municipal golf course did receive an exemption from the ban, however, provided that smoking is only permissible on the course itself during play.
Previously, the ban had just applied to smoking in public building and venues, such as the seating at athletic fields; now it includes all park grounds. However, this is still a policy as the city lacks an ordinance with the same language, meaning that police will not be called in to handle enforcement. The city council did not approve a similar proposal approximately two years ago, and remains unclear whether a new ordinance will be presented in the future.
Waterloo is home to just under 68,000 residents,