Law To Ban Outdoor Smoking In DC Advances

2:07 PM, Jul 3, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) --  Smoking could soon be prohibited in parks, trails, community facilities, swimming pools, recreation centers, and Metro bus stops in Washington D.C.

The office of Councilmember Mary Cheh says on Tuesday, the Committee on Transportation and the Environment advanced a measure that would limit outdoor smoking in the District.

According to Cheh's office, "The legislation would make it illegal to use tobacco products in and around city-owned or maintained parks, dog parks, nature trails, community facilities, swimming pools, spray parks, recreation centers, and bus stops. The legislation is aimed at curbing the harmful effects of secondhand smoke in outdoor environments, which studies have shown pose the same level of danger as exposure to secondhand smoke indoors."

Cheh said in a statement released by her office, "At the moment, District residents are protected from secondhand smoking in many indoor establishments, like restaurants, bars, and all places of employment. However, we currently provide no protection from secondhand smoke in outdoor environments, where many D.C. residents, including children spend a considerable amount of their time."

On May 13, Deputy Director Ryan Springer of the Department of Health and Director Jesús Aguirre of the Department of Parks and Recreations both testified in favor of the legislation during a hearing, according to Cheh's office. They stated that they believed the legislation is a key part of the effort to reduce smoking in D.C.

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