County Councilwoman Proposing Public Property Smoking Ban

by BethesdaNow.com — November 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm 4,021 3 Comments

A Montgomery County councilmember wants to ban smoking on most public property, including in county parks, around recreation centers and outside county buildings. Smoking is already banned inside county buildings.

Councilwoman Nancy Floreen (D-At large) of Garrett Park said her own experience with cancer (Floreen is a breast cancer survivor) motivated her to put together the bill, which will be introduced on Nov. 20 and featured in a press conference on Nov. 15, according to a press release.

“I have unfortunately spent a lot of time over the past year with people who have cancer,” Floreen said in the release. “I want to do everything I can to help prevent this awful disease in all of its forms, and this is a good place to start.”

The release goes on to say that one in 12 adults in Montgomery County smoke cigarettes and that smoking accounts for at least 30 percent of all cancer deaths. The Nov. 15 press conference will be held in conjunction with the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout and will include American Cancer Society officials.

The bill would not ban smoking in public right of way spaces, the only public property exempt.

Last year, the Council approved a smoking ban at playgrounds and indoor common spaces, such as privately owned apartment hallways or lobbies. That measure met some resistance, but not as much as in 1999, when the county was the first in the state to ban smoking in bars. The law was enacted in 2003.

Floreen’s proposal has the support of a majority of the nine-person Council, with Councilmembers Nancy Navarro (D-East County), Craig Rice (D-Upcounty), Hans Riemer (D-At large) of Silver Spring, March Elrich (D-At large) of Takoma Park and George Leventhal (D-At large) of Takoma Park on board.

A public hearing on the measure is scheduled for Jan. 15.

Flickr photo by chris@APL

  • David

    I am a survivor of lousy govt but I am not advocating banning Ms. Floreen from public parks! If the govt cumulatively wants to ban smoking and has the public support to do so . . . do it! Banning it by the death of a thousand cuts is chicken s— leadership.

  • http://tctactics.org Thomas Laprade

    What has council womens breast cancer got to do with ‘no smoking in parks??



  • http://www.evanseasyspace.com/ Evans

    It sounds a bit totalitarian to enforce this kind of ban in public places but I imagine a lot of people would actually like the deterrent. About 800,000 people try to quit smoking a year and only about 51% make it to the end of the 12 months, so by adding additional deterrents this percentage may increase, which would be a good thing.


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