Boston can now be added to the growing list of large municipalities that don't allow smoking in its public parks after the city's Parks and Recreation Commission unanimously passed a comprehensive smoke ban on Monday.
The ban, which makes it illegal to smoke cigars, cigarettes, marijuana, and other "lighted or vaporized" substances in a city-run park, went into effect immediately after the commission's vote.
The new law affects not only notable tourist areas like Boston Common, the Public Garden and Franklin Park, but any public space run by the city's Parks and Recreation Department. The agency oversees more than 251 parks, squares, cemeteries and other public spaces in the Boston area.
Violators of the new regulation face fines up to $250. However, at the moment it won't be police officers or park rangers enforcing the new law, but ordinary citizens.
Spokeswoman Jacque Goddard said the Parks and Recreation Department will be launching an advertising campaign to raise awareness of the new law, along with posting signs about the ban. Eventually, police officers and park rangers will enforce the public park smoking ban, although a timetable was not given.
Boston joins New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and San Francisco on the list of large cities that have banned smoking in outdoor public parks.