Montgomery County Council Extends Smoking Ban

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credit: Daniel Barry/Getty Images

credit: Daniel Barry/Getty Images

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LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — A new smoking ban in Montgomery County will limit where people can smoke on county owned property.

The Montgomery County Council uanimously passed a bill Tuesday to ban smoking on most county owned or leased property.

The bill, which was sponsored by Councilmember Nancy Floreen, will extend the county’s smoking ban to just about all outdoor land owned by the county, including bus stops, parks, parking garages, plazas, green space around county buildings and “other public places where peoeple congregate,” Floreen said.

“Montgomery County residents can expect safe havens from smoking,” Floreen said.

The bill still will need to be signed by County Executive Isiah Leggett before it goes into effect but Floreen said that shouldn’t be a problem, as Leggett has voiced his support for the bill in the past.

The bill has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the public, according to Floreen, who said it is testimony to county residents’ interest in a safe and healthy environment.

Floreen, an at-large councilmember, doesn’t expect an increase in citations for violating the ban, but said the bill “will empower the average person to say to someone who is smoking nearby, ‘Please move away from me, it’s not permitted here.'”

The state’s smoking laws already are some of the strictest in the country. Maryland has banned smoking in all enclosed public spaces and some outdoor areas such as playgrounds.

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