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Police to begin enforcing Tigard smoking ban in July

Smoking in parks or at library could net $100-$500 fine.

TIMES FILE PHOTO - Cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes and any other type of smoking is banned in Tigard's parks and on city property. Starting next month, the city says it will start issuing citations.If you enjoy lighting up a cigarette in the great outdoors, you won’t want to do it in any Tigard park.

Starting Friday, the city will begin enforcing its ban on smoking in Tigard parks and city property

Tigard approved a smoking ban on all Tigard parks and city-owned property in January, but said it wouldn’t start issuing citations to smokers until this summer.

It’s illegal to smoke cigars, cigarettes or pipes, as well as e-cigarettes and cannabis in public parks, open spaces, trails or on any city owned property, including City Hall and the Tigard Public Library.

The ban does not extend to sidewalks or private property.

Tualatin passed a similar ban in February.

First time offenders face a $100 fine, rising to up to $500 for subsequent violations within a 12-month period.

Tigard’s ban didn’t include all forms of tobacco. Non-smoking tobacco, such as chewing tobacco, is still allowed. Alcohol remains legal to consume in Tigard’s parks, as well.

Tigard has said it plans to become “the most walkable city in the Pacific Northwest,” but said that smokers puffing away on city property was hindering those plans.

“You have people out walking, kids playing and running through a plume of smoke or see cigarette butts on the ground,” City Councilor John Goodhouse said earlier this year. “It gives people the ability to be out here more because maybe there are people who don’t go to parks because they are afraid someone might be smoking next to them.”

Rudy Owens, a spokesman with the city, said that the ban was about promoting public health.

“The ordinances acknowledge research showing smoking and vaping are harmful to human health, particularly young people,” he said. “Residents are encouraged to point out the city’s ‘No Smoking’ signs if they see infractions in areas where signs are present.”

Owens said that signs are in the process of being installed, alerting people to the ban.

Residents planning to report infractions are asked to the police non-emergency line at 503-629-0111.

Tualatin, Portland, Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, Sherwood and the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District in Beaverton have all banned smoking in public parks.