The places you can smoke 'em if you got 'em continue to dwindle in Rockville.
A unanimous vote by the Rockville City Council Monday night changed the city's smoking policy so that smoking is now banned 40 feet away from playgrounds at city parks. The policy change now makes Rockville one of the strictest local municipalities when it comes to restricting smoking.
Smoking is banned in restaurants, bars and nightclubs in Maryland. In Rockville, smoking also is banned at city pools, playing fields and dog parks.
No fines or penalties will be enforced as it is a change in policy, not a new law.
Supporters argued that smokers must be considerate of people around them who don't smoke, especially children, while opponents said smoking isn't illegal, so smokers shouldn't face so many restrictions.
The policy change was approved despite Councilmember Phyllis Marcuccio's concern that the smoking ban could be too restrictive.
"I'm troubled a lot by the 40-foot ban around the areas that we decided on," she said. "I don't think that was thought through completely. There are some houses that are right against (playgrounds)."
The ban was then amended to exclude private property.
Mayor Susan Hoffman indicated she is open to an even further expansion of the smoking ban.
"We're supposed to be outdoors being healthy, not smoking or spreading second-hand smoke to others," Hoffman said.