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City of Lynnwood Updates Tobacco-Free Parks Ordinance

On March 28, 2016, the Lynnwood City Council adopted the amendment to LMC 10.16.020 to prohibit activation or use of electronic smoking devices in all Lynnwood parks (Ordinance 3185, 2016). The City law now treats electronic smoking devices (ESD), such as e-cigarettes and vaporizers, just like conventional smoking and tobacco products.

Washington passed the Smoking in Public Places Law in 2005 which prohibits smoking in all public places and places of employment. Since this law did not specifically cover public parks, Lynnwood amended LMC Chapter 10.16 pertaining to park rules and regulations to include a prohibition on public smoking in parks (Ordinance 3017, 2013). 

In November 2015, the Snohomish Health District adopted Chapter 14 to include a prohibition of vaping or the use of vapor products in public in Snohomish County. “E-cigarettes and vaping products release a vapor of aerosolized particles that may be harmful to our most vulnerable,” said Dr. Gary Goldbaum, health officer and director of the Snohomish Health District. “I commend the City of Lynnwood and all of the staff involved with passing this amendment so that together we can protect the greater public, and especially our youth, pregnant women and those with chronic illnesses.”

Lynnwood’s most recent amendment to prohibit activation or use of electronic smoking devices in parks directly supports the City’s Parks, Recreation, & Cultural Arts Department’s mission of “creating a healthy community through people, parks, programs and partnerships.” “Recognizing the harmful effects of second-hand smoke and the conflicting message public smoking can send to children is the reason the City first adopted the Tobacco-Free Parks Ordinance in 2013, and we’re happy the City Council supports our continued efforts to make Lynnwood’s parks a safe place for children and families,” said Parks & Recreation Director Lynn Sordel. Since the passage of Ordinance No. 3017, the advent of vaping, electronic cigarettes and other activation devices bring new forms of public smoking to City parks not covered in the State’s Smoking In Public Places law or the City’s codes. On April 19, 2016, Governor Inslee signed into law Senate Bill 6328 which specifically gives local jurisdictions the ability to regulate the use of vapor products in outdoor places where children congregate such as parks.    

For more information on vaping and vapor products including Frequently Asked Questions visit: http://www.snohd.org/Healthy-Living/Smoke-Free-Living/Vaping-Vapor-Products