During the August 8, 2017, City Council meeting, Longmont City Council unanimously voted 7-0 to pass O-2017-40 which will amend Title 9, Chapter 9.40, of the Longmont Municipal code on smoking in public places and expand no-smoking zones to several City facilities as well as entryways of public places and places of employment.
Under the ordinance, smoking will be prohibited on the block containing the Longmont Civic Center and Longmont Public Library, and the entrances to the City’s Senior Center and Memorial Building.
An entryway to City owned buildings or enclosed areas includes the area of public or private property within 25ft of the doorway. For all other buildings or enclosed areas, the included area is 15ft.
New to the municipal code is the inclusion of electronic smoking devices, or more commonly known as vaping, to the definition of what smoking or smoke means. According to the bill, an electronic smoking device is defined as “an electric or battery-operated device, the use of which resembles conventional smoking, which can be used to deliver substances, including, but not limited to, nicotine, tobacco, or marijuana, to the person using such device. Electronic smoking device shall include, without limitation, an electronic cigarette, cigar, cigarillo, pipe, or hookah. Electronic smoking device shall not include any product approved by the food and drug administration as a drug or medical device that is used in accordance with its purpose.”
Smoking will still be permitted in retail stores primarily engaged in the sale of tobacco or tobacco accessories, places of employment that are not open to the public, and outdoor areas designated as a smoking area by an employer.
The Safe and Welcoming Public Spaces Committee, a staff group working to address behavioral issues in and around City facilities, recommended the changes to the current smoking policy in order to address problems identified by the public and city staff.
According to City Council Communication, “staff believes that smoking and people congregating to smoke around City facilities has deterred some Library, Senior Center and Memorial Building customers from returning to these facilities. Customers have complained that they ‘walk the gauntlet’ of smokers when walking up the somewhat lengthy sidewalks leading up to City facilities even though smokers are usually following the current policy to avoid smoking within 15 feet of a building entrance. Staff believes that by making the Civic Center/Library block smoke-free and by designating additional smoke-free zones at the Memorial Building and the Senior Center, patrons will enjoy their experience more and be more likely to return.”
Violating chapter 9.40 will result in a $35 to $500 fine for the first offense. The minimum fine will be $50 upon a second or subsequent conviction within 12 months.
$10 of the fine collected will be given to the municipal probation office to acquire materials and programming providing health information on the dangers of smoking.
The ordinance was originally introduced at the June 25th city council meeting and a public hearing was held at the July 11th meeting.
For a copy of the complete ordinance, see below: