Smoking and vaping ban now in effect for all parks in Grand Rapids

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GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Smoking, vaping, and all types of marijuana and tobacco products are now banned in all city parks and playgrounds.

The ban, approved 6-1 by city commissioners at the end of October, entered into force on January 1.

Those who violate the ban can be fined $ 25 in civil matters or participate in a smoking cessation program.

City officials have previously said that enforcing the ban, which is an amendment to the city’s air quality ordinance, is not a high priority and that verbal warnings from quitting smoking or leaving the area will take place before a fine is imposed. Park ambassadors are responsible for enforcing the ban.

The ban also prohibits the disposal of tobacco products and wastes like cigarette butts on sidewalks, grass and other areas not designated as a disposal receptacle for tobacco products.

The city-owned Indian Trails golf course is excluded from the ban, which has been a sticking point for Commissioner Jon O’Connor, the only vote against the ban.

O’Connor called the government’s last-minute exemption of golf courses from picking “winners and losers,” and said the ban flies in the face of the city’s previous talks about fairness and the desire to decriminalize minor charges.

Related: Grand Rapids bans smoking in parks, but not on city-owned golf courses

City officials hope the ban will reduce cigarette butt waste and create healthier park environments. In an explanation of the ban, city officials advised people who see someone smoking in parks to “politely let them know that the parks are now tobacco-free” and to thank them for creating the spaces. more healthy parks.

The parks will be equipped with signage to inform people that smoking is prohibited.

According to Grand Rapids officials, nearly 60 Michigan jurisdictions have tobacco-free park policies, including Greenville, Sault St. Marie, Traverse City, Escanaba, Grand Haven Township, Howell, Ottawa County, Portage and Michigan State Parks.

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