24th May 2017
Council discussed banning all tobacco products from municipal parks at the committee meeting May 22. Council may take action at the June 12 regular meeting.
The state Department of Health and Tobacco Free Allegheny has been encouraging Pennsylvania communities to make their parks and playgrounds tobacco-free for several years as part of its Young Lungs at Play program. In Allegheny County, at least 61 municipalities, school districts and recreation organizations have made their recreational areas tobacco-free.
Making areas tobacco-free is supposed to reduce exposure to second-hand smoke. Advocates also argue that tobacco-free areas will provide a better example to children.
The ban will probably not apply to vaping, municipal officials said.
Councilwoman Lorrie Gibbons said she supported the idea, but questioned how Bethel Park could enforce it.
The county will provide signs and smokers could be fined, but only if someone makes a complaint.