Montgomery Co. Approves Smoking Ban for Common Areas

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    Beginning in a month, smokers will no longer be able to light up in some common areas in Montgomery County, Md.

    The Montgomery County Council unanimously approved a Board of Health regulation prohibiting smoking in common areas and playgrounds of multi-family dwellings. The council amended the bill to ban smoking within 25 feet of playgrounds on the property of multi-family dwellings. The common areas include lobbies, laundry rooms and shared hallways.

    “This regulation will not deny anyone their rights, but it will protect the rights of people who do not want to be impacted by second-hand smoke -- particularly children,” said Council member George Leventhal, the chief sponsor of the bill. “People who live in multi-family communities do not have the choice to easily avoid the second-hand smoke created by others. Now those who want to avoid smoke in the common areas of the place they live will be able to do so.”

    The new ban takes effect Aug. 12.