INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Starting Thursday, smoking will be banned in all Indianapolis parks.
The City-County Council in May voted 18-6 to extend nonsmoking areas in the city to “include public parks owned or leased by the city or county.” The ban includes e-cigarettes and “all other smoking devices.”
Indy Parks is adding new signs, updating park maps, and preparing to provide smoking cessation information at family centers throughout the park system, the City-County Council said in a Monday news release.
Park rangers can issue $100 tickets for a first offense. Subsequent violations come with a court ticket and a fine from $200 to $7,500, the council said.
Councilor John Barth, a Democrat who represents District 7, says other communities have found public awareness and plentiful signage to be more effective than fines: “This initiative is really about healthy people and healthy environment. We’d much rather hand out smoking cessation resources than tickets for smoking in the park.”
The ban is enforceable by fines: $100 tickets issued by park rangers for a first offense, and a court ticket and a fine of $200–$7,500 for subsequent violations, but Barth says other communities have found public awareness and plentiful signage to be more effective.
“This initiative is really about healthy people and a healthy environment,” he says. “We’d much rather hand out smoking cessation resources than tickets for smoking in the park.”