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Smoking Ban goes into effect Friday June 3

A ban on smoking on downtown public sidewalks or within 10 feet of a downtown sidewalk will go into effect in Ashland on Friday June 3rd, making Ashland the first city in Oregon to adopt such a prohibition.  The City Council gave its final approval to the downtown smoking ban after community and business surveys found support for the measure.

The ordinance adopted by the Council incorporates the Oregon Indoor Clean Air Act into the City’s Municipal Code.  The Indoor Clean Air Act prohibits smoking within 10 feet of the entrance, exit, operable window or ventilation system intake of a place of employment or in any enclosed public space.  But Ashland’s ordinance goes several steps beyond the Indoor Clean Air Act by prohibiting smoking on downtown sidewalks, on any public or private property within 10 feet of a public sidewalk, on the downtown plaza or in Chautauqua Square at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  The ordinance also prohibits smoking within 10 feet of an outdoor dining area throughout the City.

“Second-hand smoke is a well-documented health hazard,” said City Councilor Stefani Seffinger, who proposed the ordinance, “and our residents and visitors should not have to walk through clouds of smoke when they’re in downtown Ashland, which is this city’s living room.”

Ashland has also prohibited smoking in all city parks since 2008.  Even with this first-of-its-kind-in-Oregon ordinance in place, there are still many places in downtown Ashland where smokers can indulge their habit, according to City Administrator Dave Kanner.

“Smoking is still permitted downtown in public alleyways and in any unenclosed private property that conforms to the other restrictions of the ordinance,” said Kanner.

The smoking prohibition will be enforced by the Ashland Police and a citation carries a maximum fine of $138, “but we’re hoping for voluntary compliance,” said Kanner.  “The ideal would be that smokers respect this ordinance and we never have to write a single citation.”

Click here to view the map of the prohibited smoking area

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