On the eve of the Cigar Association of New Hampshire gold tournament, it appears the Claremont, New Hampshire is one step closer to banning smoking at parks.
After a few failed attempts, the City Council has passed an ordinance that will ban smoking in most city parks with the exception of designated ares. The ordinance will be read for a second time at a September 10th meeting and voted on. If passed, the law will take effect immediately.
In the past there was strong opposition to a proposed ban, but at the most recent meeting only a few comments were heard before an 8-1 vote.
Council member, Kyle Messier voted no because she wanted the distance greater than the proposed 5 foot threshold from entrances, exits or walkways.
The ordinance would ban all tobacco products except in designated areas at Barnes, Monadnock and Veterans parks as well as parts of Moody Park. It would also place the same ban on any event sanctioned by the city.
Council member, Vic Bergeron voted for the ordinance, but objected to a provision that allows the parks and recreation director or city manager to decide, without council approval, to modify or remove any designated area if it “creates a nuisance or public health hazard.”
If approved violators would be fined $50 for the first offense, $100 for the second and $200 for the third.
Claremont is home to 13,000 residents over 44 square miles.
UPDATE: The ordinance passed with a 9-0 vote and the new law is in effect immediately.