Tumwater on Tuesday became the latest close-in jurisdiction to ban smoking and vaping in city parks, following suit with the cities of Olympia and Lacey and Thurston County, which have all passed similar laws.
“Part of this is that we are going to hope and expect that when there is consistency across jurisdictions is now the expectation will be that no matter what park you go to in Thurston County … you know there’s no smoking in parks,” said Councilperson Michael Althauser.
Chuck Denney, Tumwater parks director, noted the negative health effects caused by smoking, and the dangers of second-hand smoke. Parks, he said, play an important part in a city’s quality of life.
“While we’re talking about Tumwater Parks and what they provide, we’re really providing an outdoor healthy environment for everybody in our community to enjoy,” said Denney.
The new rules will be added to park signage. Violating the new laws can result in a $50 fine all the way up to a misdemeanor charge. The range of enforcement provides police officers flexibility in how they enforce the law, depending on the severity of the offense, said Mayor Pete Kmet.
Tumwater Valley Golf Club was not included in the ordinance, said Denney, noting that his department spoke with staff at 20 other golf clubs in Western Washington, and found they have been exempt from smoking ordinances.