Central Falls passes new smoking ban - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Central Falls passes new smoking ban

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By: Liz Tufts

ltufts@abc6.com

     You can no longer light up outdoors in Central Falls. Wednesday night the city council passed a ban on smoking outside in some public spaces.

     It was a packed house inside city council chambers in Central Falls. Those who light up and those who don't,a all waiting eagerly to find out if a new smoking ordinance would pass and in minutes it got the green light.

     Among those now breathing a sigh of relief, Vernia Carter, the city's substance abuse manager. It all started when students started complaining of sitting in class and smelling butts. "It's pretty bad because we are one square mile so if this is a school and you're standing there smoking all the smoke is going to go into the windows, " says Carter.

     This is how the new policy works: Smoking is now banned at all public parks, on school grounds, athletic fields and at any outdoor events. Lighting up also wouldn't be allowed within 25 feet of these areas, but for long time smokers like Rapahel Ocasio, he says it should be his decision where and when he can smoke. He's concerned about the penalties now attached to this new policy. The first offense is a 100 dollar fine, after that it goes up to $500.  

     The next step is to put up signs in all of the places now off limits to smokers. Once that happens, police will start enforcing the policy.

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