Smoking ban approved
A targeted smoking and tobacco ban in parts of Lansdale’s parks, near pools and playgrounds in particular, has been passed.
Borough council recently voted unanimously to adopt a partial ban based on the state health department’s young Lungs at Play program, a ban that has received favorable feedback, according to Councilman Rich DiGregorio.
“I’m very thrilled that we got this passed. I was talking to the baseball association, the Cannoneers and the football cheerleading team and everybody’s really thrilled that we did something about this,” he said.
Borough council began discussing a partial ban in borough parks and playgrounds in early summer and considered a wider ban on smoking on all borough properties before choosing to follow the state Young Lungs at Play guidelines.
The ordinance passed by council states that second-hand smoke “causes increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome, lower respiratory infection, middle ear disease and asthma” and cites statistics from the U.S. Surgeon General that second-hand smoke is responsible for more than 50,000 deaths among non-smokers each year.
The ordinance establishes Tobacco-Free Zones at “areas of the borough’s parks in which children customarily play including, without limitation, the following: tot lots, playgrounds, basketball courts, tennis courts, athletic fields and swimming pools.” In those areas, “consumption or use of tobacco including, without limitation, smok- ing or chewing tobacco products is hereby prohibited” in areas “not less than 20 feet” from signage identifying the zone.
Anyone who is spotted smoking will be warned once and if they refuse to comply with the ordinance, that person “may be required, by a borough official or borough police officer, to immediately leave the tobacco-free zone and, if smoking, the area in which smoking is prohib- ited,” according to the ordinance.
Borough staff have been in contact with the Philadelphia Clean Air Council to secure the Young Lungs at Play signage, according to borough Parks and Recreation Director Carl Saldutti, and have contacted local Boy Scout troops to find a Scout interested in installing the signs as part of his service project for the Eagle rank.