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Council acts on downtown smoking ordinance

The City Council has given its initial approval to an ordinance that will prohibit smoking on all downtown sidewalks or on public or private property within 10 feet of a downtown sidewalk.  The ordinance also prohibits smoking on the Plaza, in Chautauqua Square (at the corner of Pioneer and East Main Streets, in front of the Black Swan Theater) in public alleys and on the theater corridor walkway that extends from E. Main St. to the Shakespeare Festival’s Thomas Theater.
A proposal to create a limited exemption for OLCC-licensed businesses during the evening and late-night hours was removed from the ordinance before the Council approved it. 

The ordinance codifies the Oregon Indoor Clean Air Act to prohibit smoking in enclosed spaces that are open to the public and places of employment throughout the city.  In addition, smoking would be prohibited within 10 feet of an entrance, exit, operable window or ventilation system intake at such spaces or places of employment.  Smoking would still be permitted on unenclosed private property downtown as long as the smoker complies with this 10-foot restriction.

The prohibition on smoking also applies to the use of inhalants, a practice commonly known as “vaping.”

The Council is scheduled to consider second reading of the ordinance at its May 3, 2016, business meeting. That meeting begins at 7 PM in the Council chambers at 1175 East Main St. If approved, the ordinance would become effective on June 2, 2016.

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