City Council unanimously approved legislation at its September 5 meeting that bans all use of electronic smoking devices, such as vape pens and e-cigarettes on city-owned property, including indoor and outdoor properties.
“Electronic smoking devices, often called e-cigarettes, heat and vaporize a solution that typically contains nicotine, and are often designed to mimic the look and feel of a real cigarette, while others resemble pens or other innocuous objects,” according to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation. “The devices are metal or plastic tubes that contain a cartridge filled with a liquid that is vaporized by a battery-powered heating element. The aerosol is inhaled by the user when they draw on the device, as they would a regular cigarette. The user then exhales a cloud of secondhand aerosol which includes toxins and other pollutants.”
The legislation was introduced by Mayor Bob Stefanik, and co-sponsored by Ward 3 Councilman Dan Langshaw. The measure amends 2008 legislation that banned smoking on all city property. Stefanik said that the inclusion of these devices under the smoking ordinance was first discussed at a recent Recreation Board meeting. “This is, more or less, a common sense issue,” he said. Stefanik noted that the enforcement of the smoking ban has never been a problem.
Langshaw stated that, “I support keeping our public parks and recreation fields smoke free because children and their families in our community should be able to play in these areas smoke free. This ordinance helps the city keep up-to-date with the changing times we live in while keeping our continued commitment to protecting public health.”
City Council unanimously approved legislation at its April 15, 2008 meeting that limited smoking on all city owned property. The ordinance amended the then-current city code, by creating a new chapter, “Smoking on City-Owned Property.” The North Royalton City School District, instilled a no smoking policy in 2007. Mayor Bob Stefanik introduced the ordinance, saying at that time that the proposal is similar to the Smoke-Free Ohio campaign that voters supported in November 2006.
According to the ordinance, “Smoking means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe, or other lighted smoking device for burning tobacco or any other plant.” It does not apply to the burning of incense in a religious ceremony.
Violators may, for the first offense, “upon signing a waiver of the right to appear in court and upon a plea of guilty to the offense, receive a waiver of any fine and at the option of the court, waive court costs at the office of the Clerk of Courts, in person, prior to the time set for such person’s appearance before the Mayor’s Court or Municipal Court. For a second offense, said defendant shall be guilty of a minor misdemeanor and shall pay a fine of one hundred dollars ($100.00) and court costs. For any third or more offenses, said defendant shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree.”

Contributing Writer