Lighting up in a city park is soon going to cost you.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed into law Tuesday afternoon an executive order that prohibits smoking in all city parks, including more than 100 neighborhood parks and 11,000 acres in total.
"It is, I believe, our duty and responsibility at least for the spaces we are in charge of to try our best to contain what happens in those spaces," said Nutter. "And certainly anything that is detrimental to the public health."
Nutter said the smoking ban initiative promotes a healthy lifestyle and provides safe and healthy places for citizens outside. The policy seeks to accomplishes three goals: to protect the environment, to protect children and adults from second hand smoke and to help motivate smokers to quit.
At the 1 p.m. announcement, Nutter announced the ban is "effective immediately." Violators will face a request for compliance for lighting up in places like Rittenhouse Square, Love Park, Fairmount Park and more. There is no fine and nothing pending, according to Nutter.
A federal grant will be used to promote the campaign.
Smoking bans have recently been approved or discussed around our area.
The New Jersey assembly recently approved a bill banning smoking at all public beaches and parks in the Garden State. The state senate now has to vote on the measure.
That bill is designed to eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke, cut down on litter and improve fire safety.
Some beach towns already ban smoking. In fact, more than a third of all Garden State municipalities have laws on the books restricting smoking in parks.
Towns in New Jersey have also taken action as have beach towns in Delaware.
Last year, Princeton, N.J. passed a smoking ban in municipal areas, public buildings, parks and pools. And, just ahead of the summer season, a smoking ban will go into effect in Rehoboth Beach, Del.
Starting May 15, you won’t be able to light up on the boardwalk or parks in the shore resort. Violators in Rehoboth face $25 fines.