MARYLAND

Montgomery County bans smoking in some areas

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The Montgomery County Council Tuesday agreed to ban smoking in some common areas of multiple-family homes and certain playgrounds.

The council, in a unanimous vote, is intended to curb the effects of second-hand smoke.

"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 Councilmember George Leventhal, the chief sponsor of the ban. "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 ban was expanded to include areas within 25 feet of playground areas of privately owned properties. This could include playground areas of townhouse communities and subdivisions communities of single-family homes that have common playground areas.

The regulation would not apply to homeowners with playground equipment in their private yard.

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