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Lewiston Smoking Ordinance passes city council unanimously

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Lewiston’s city parks are now smoke free. The council unanimously approved the ordinance this week.

KLEW News Reporter Shannon Moudy is in-studio with why the city is limiting where you can light up.

According to Idaho Public Health, Lewiston now joins Moscow, Orofino, Potlatch, and Pierce, all cities in North Central Idaho that restrict smoking in parks.

You may soon be seeing signs that look something like this in Lewiston’s city-owned parks. On Monday, the city council adopted a smoke free air ordinance.

"The ordinance specifically addresses secondhand smoke and it prohibits smoking in public buildings and in parks, other public spaces,” said Jim Bennett, Lewiston City Manager.

This ordinance comes just as the weather warms up and more families, especially those with young children, are using the parks. The city wanted to help curb the issue of secondhand smoke in these public areas.

"The medical experts have weighed in on that, that it's a significant threat to public health,” said Bennett.

Besides clearing up the air, the city hopes the ordinance will cut down on another by-product of public smoking...litter.

"We had a presentation by a group of students and they brought like a dozen huge gallon size bags that were filled with cigarette butts that they had picked up,” said Bennett.

The ordinance does not ban smoking outright, designated smoking areas will be placed at parks and where possible outside public buildings.

"It also makes exemptions for those who smoke as part of a bona fide religious practice,” said Bennett.

The idea is to make public areas more comfortable for everyone.

Bennett says the city will be putting up signs to notify the public of smoke free areas, and they’ll be clearly marking where designated smoking areas are.

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