Vaping Ban In Salisbury Maryland
Vaping Ban In Salisbury Maryland
On Tuesday, September 12th, vape users in Salisbury, Maryland woke up to news that would change how they vape in their city. On Monday, the City Council voted to pass an ordinance that prohibits smoking and vaping in, on, and within 25 feet of all public parks and city-owned property. This development didn't come as much of a surprise - at the end of August, the ordinance had already received preliminary approval.
With the new ban, vaping will no longer be allowed in areas including trailways and picnic areas at the Salisbury City Park. Other areas where the ban is in effect are the Riverwalk, Salisbury Zoo, Salisbury Marina, the skate park, bus shelters, the Government Office Building, and other public-owned or leased and operated buildings or vehicles. However, the ban does not apply to to designated smoking areas or inside any non-city owned vehicle parked over 25 feet away from a banned area.
The ban arose as a way to make the city more family-friendly, and as an attempt protect people from secondhand smoke. According to Mayor Jake Day, "The citizens who have expressed concern about their children experiencing secondhand smoke on playgrounds and parks will, I'm sure, be delighted to hear that Salisbury has joined the ranks of other family-friendly towns and cities."
Rationale behind the push to enact the ban has been expressed through concerns of exposure to secondhand smoke, but vapes don't produce smoke, they produced vapor. Debbie Walston was one of the many who discussed the concern of personal freedom, and the ability to to effectively enforce the ban. Walston said "I don't see how they can enforce it as much as they want to. If you're in a wide-open space, and I'm sitting in my car here vaping, I honestly don't see a reason why I should be approached saying you need to stop that."
To enforce the ban, signage will be posted and those who are observed violating the ban, which be given citations from officers on duty. Initial violations of the ordinance can be met with a fine of up to five hundred dollars, with each repeat offense facing fines up to one thousand dollars. In terms of community service, initial violations could face twelve hours of service, with each repeat facing forty-eight hours of community service.
While this ban is only impacting a certain area, it's a part of a much larger picture regarding the freedoms of vape users. In the past, bans and fines for vaping may have been seen as something that occurred only overseas, but for several years now piecemeal partial vaping bans like this have been striking closer to home for millions of American vapers. With Salisbury passing this ban, what's stopping other cities? It's the harsh reality of the vaping world we currently face. High wholesale taxes have been causing shops to close down in many states, and bans are just another way that the vaping population is being targeted. Sure, it may not be your city today, but it may be your city tomorrow.
While the book may appear to be closed on this ordinance, you can be certain that activists will be speaking out to help ease the ban. This isn't the first time smoking and vaping have been lumped together in a ban against secondhand smoke, through calls to action, we can help to make it one of the last. Check out calls to action and speak up to make your voice heard.