The Thurston County Board of Commissioners passed an ordinance amending the Park Code to ban smoking and vaping in all county parks, preserves, and trails, the county announced yesterday.
“Our goal is to protect all of our residents and especially our kids,” Commission Chair Bud Blake said in a statement. “We want our parks and trails to be safe for everyone to enjoy without the negative impacts of secondhand smoke — and that includes vaping. If science tells us that kids who vape are more likely to take up cigarettes, we need to take that seriously and do what we can by eliminating it in our parks and public places.”
According to the statement, 14 percent of adults in Thurston County smoke and 26 percent of high school seniors either smoke cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or both.
The Board of Commissioners, which also serves as the Board of Health, aims to further the county’s mission “to create a community that promotes health, commerce, and environmental protection with transparency and accountability.”
In 2005, Washington voters passed the statewide Smoking in Public Places Law (SIPP). That law prohibits smoking in all restaurants, bars, and other public spaces, and within 25 feet of entrances into those spaces. SIPP, however, did not restrict smoking in outdoor areas, with some exceptions.
Violating the new ordinance would result in a misdemeanor offense. Perpetrators would be subject to a fine that increases in value with each additional offense.
Read the full ordinance here.