Tigard City Council supports smoke-free healthy lifestyles
The City of Tigard recently adopted two ordinances to prohibit smoking and vaping on city owned or operated property. Passage of the ordinances support the city’s strategic plan to become the most walkable community in the Pacific Northwest where people of all ages and abilities enjoy healthy and interconnected lives. By passing a measure banning smoking and e-cigarettes, the city takes another step to ensure residents enjoy healthy and interconnected lives.
Effective July 1, 2016, Tigard parks, trails, and city-owned and operated properties are smoke-free.
Tigard is pleased to join the ranks of many other U.S. municipalities that have passed measures banning smoking and e-cigarette use on city property so that persons of all ages, including many young persons, are not exposed to the negative effects of second-hand smoke.
Read on to learn more about Tigard’s smoking and vaping ban.
SMOKING BAN: WHY IS IT NECESSARY?
Why is Tigard going smokefree? The City of Tigard has adopted a strategic plan to become the most walkable community in the Pacific Northwest where people of all ages and abilities enjoy healthy and interconnected lives. By passing a measure banning smoking and e-cigarettes, the city takes another step to ensure residents enjoy healthy and interconnected lives.
Tigard joins the ranks of many other U.S. municipalities that have passed measures banning smoking and e-cigarette use in park systems, which are used by residents of all ages, including many young persons.
What are the benefits of a smoke and tobacco-free policy?
- Contributes to cost savings: tobacco-related disease is still the leading cause of preventable death in Oregon.
- Creates healthy and safe environments for Tigard residents and visitors, especially children and youth.
- Protects parks and natural areas from potential risk of fires.
- Protects parks and natural areas from environmental degradation caused by littering of cigarette butts and other tobacco-related waste.
- Supports individuals who are trying to quit smoking or tobacco use or have already quit.
- Reduces exposure of children and youth to smoking and tobacco use, protecting their health and discouraging them from starting a habit that is difficult to quit.
What if I want to quit? Tigard is committed to assisting those who wish to overcome tobacco dependency and assist those wishing to manage cravings while on city property. All Oregonians may receive free tobacco cessation assistance through the Oregon Tobacco Quit Line: 1-800-QUIT-NOW or www.quitnow.net/Oregon (Spanish: 1-877-2NO-FUME).
Are tobacco cessation aides included in the ban? Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved cessation supports, such as Nicotine Replacement Therapy (patches, gum and nasal spray), or other prescribed medications, are allowable under the policy.
Can I still use my e-cigarettes? The use of electronic cigarettes and electronic smoking devices are prohibited on city property. Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are devices that often look like conventional cigarettes and deliver liquid nicotine and other chemicals. They have not been proven to be safe and are not approved by the FDA for tobacco cessation. According to the Oregon Health Authority, preliminary testing has identified chemicals known to cause cancer and birth defects in both first and secondhand e-cigarette vapor. Use of these devices in public places has caused complaints and confusion in enforcing Oregon’s Smokefree Workplace Law.
ABOUT THE BAN
What is included in the ban? The bans encompass all smoked materials— including cigarettes, cannabis products, cigars, and pipes—and e-cigarette products that emulate smoking.
When does the policy go into effect? The ban in parks and on trails was implemented on February 25, 2016, and penalties for violations will be issued after July 1, 2016. The smoking ban and penalties for infractions on city-owned property went into effect July 1, 2016.
Why I am just hearing about the ban? The City Council discussed the proposed ban twice since December 2015. The proposed ban was highlighted in the local newspaper - Tigard considers banning smoking from parks, trails – and on the city’s social media. Since passing the ban, the city has proactively discussed specifics of the ban on our website - Tigard Parks, Trails and Public Property Will Soon Be Smoke Free, monthly newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, and in the Tigard Times - Tigard bans smoking in parks, city property. We have delayed the implementation to give city staff time to educate and inform the community, city employees and visitors to city facilities about the new regulations covering city property and parks and trails.
Is the city really going to spend time enforcing the ban? The new ordinances call for a fine up to $100 for first-time offenses and no more than $500 for future violations. The bans do not apply to privately owned property or to city sidewalks.
If I witness someone smoking at a park, what should I do? The first step is to ask the individual to stop smoking or vaping. If the individual is unwilling to comply, you can call the police non-emergency line at 503-629-0111. The police will respond to complaints as their service levels allow.
Do citizens have the power to detain and/or issue citations to people they catch smoking in public parks? Citizens are encouraged to call the Tigard Police non-emergency number 503-629-0111. The police will respond to complaints as their service levels allow.
Is the smoke and tobacco-free parks policy a violation of civil and/or Constitutional rights? No. This policy does not take away individuals’ rights to choose to smoke or use tobacco, it just asks them to refrain from smoking or using tobacco while visiting city parks, natural areas, recreation areas, and any other areas.
Are sidewalks considered a part of the banned area? If a sidewalk that goes through property owned by the City of Tigard, then it is included in the ban. Even if the sidewalk is not considered city property, the city strongly encourages you to honor the smoking ban.
Where can I smoke? The bans do not apply to privately owned property or sidewalks located outside city property.
Can I smoke in my car? The ban applies to all city properties, including personal property that resides on city property. If your vehicle is located on any city-owned or operated property, then smoking in your vehicle is prohibited.
Does the ban include people smoking at the entrance of the Tigard Transit Center? The city’s new ordinance does not apply at that location since the entrance is not city-owned property. TriMet manages the Tigard Transit Center and has a no-smoking policy on buses and trains, and where posted at bus shelters, WES/MAX/Streetcar stations and transit centers.
What if I boil water with herbs making scented/flavored vapors? Or if I have a handheld vaporizer? What about vaporizers without nicotine that is just flavored steam? The ordinance bans “inhaling, exhaling, or possession of an electronic cigarette or similar device intended to emulate smoking.”