On December 12th, 2000, the Montgomery County Council, by a 5 to 4 vote, approved
the outdoor smoking ban adopted earlier by the Village of Friendship
Heights, Maryland. The ban prohibits smoking or discarding tobacco products
on or in sidewalks, lawns, parks, buildings or other areas owned by the
village; first offenses are subject to a warning, and subsequent offenses
are subject to a $100 fine.
Dr. Alfred Muller, the Mayor of the village,
pushed for adoption of the ban particularly because there are residents who
have health problems, such as asthma and emphysema, which are acutely
endangered by even small amounts of secondhand smoke. Muller also
stated "we are trying to change the social norm" concerning tobacco
use. The tobacco industry has threatened to seek a court order blocking
implementation of the law.
Source: Jim Bergman
Smoke-Free Environments Law Project
The Center for Social Gerontology
Ann Arbor, Michigan
UPDATE: JUDGE HALTS FRIENDSHIP HEIGHTS ANTI-SMOKING BAN
March 2, 2001
A judge Friday temporarily halted a suburban Washington
community's anti-smoking ordinance that was considered one of
the toughest in the nation.
The preliminary injunction issued Friday by Circuit Judge
Durke G. Thompson blocks Friendship Heights from enforcing a
ban on outdoor smoking in public places, including parks and
sidewalks. Repeat offenders faced $100 fines.
Thompson said that because the community of 5,000 was a
special taxing district and not a true municipality, its
village council did not have the authority to pass the
ordinance last year.
"In their zeal to curb smoking, they crossed the line," said
Timothy Maloney, an attorney for Friendship Heights smokers
who challenged the ordinance.
Source: AP (Mar 2, 2001)
The Washington Post
by Stephen Manning
Associated Press Writer
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