Lane County parks to go smoke and tobacco-free

Lane County parks to go smoke and tobacco-free
Posted on 01/24/2017

The Lane County Board of Commissioners approved a restriction on smoking and tobacco use in all Lane County-operated parks this afternoon.

The adopted ordinance includes an exemption for tobacco use by Native American tribes, as well as an exemption for a number of designated campsites across the County’s handful of developed overnight campgrounds.

The adopted ordinance states:

“6.597 Smoke-free County Parks 
(1) Except as exempt under subsection (2) below, smoking or other use of any tobacco products, as those terms are defined by LC 9.700, is prohibited in all County parks, including all parks facilities. 

(2) Smoking or other use of any tobacco products is permitted: 
(a) In designated campsites in developed overnight camping areas, unless temporarily suspended by the Parks Manager due to high fire hazard conditions; or 
(b) Where allowed by the Parks Manager for personal use by a member of a federally recognized Oregon tribe as part of their traditional religious, medicinal, or other customary cultural heritage practices. 

(3) Violation of this subsection constitutes a Class D violation.”

Public education regarding the new rule will be the primary focus of Parks staff during the next 18 months. A combination of signage, education during public contact, and use of friendly persuasion will be used to implement the policy. Formal enforcement of the restriction will begin in July of 2018. Citations will be used as a last resort.

Commissioners began discussing the restriction last year after receiving recommendations from the Parks Advisory Committee and public health officials. 

Lane County operates or maintains 73 parks and open spaces, including five with developed overnight campgrounds, three marinas, and a large number of boat ramps.