Citizens for Clean Air and Clean Lungs

Friendship Heights Enacts Nation's Most Comprehensive Smoking Ban

On December 12th, 2000, the Montgomery County Council, by a 5 to 4 vote, approved the outdoor smoking ban adopted earlier by the Village of Friendship Heights, Maryland. The ban prohibits smoking or discarding tobacco products on or in sidewalks, lawns, parks, buildings or other areas owned by the village; first offenses are subject to a warning, and subsequent offenses are subject to a $100 fine.

Dr. Alfred Muller, the Mayor of the village, pushed for adoption of the ban particularly because there are residents who have health problems, such as asthma and emphysema, which are acutely endangered by even small amounts of secondhand smoke. Muller also stated "we are trying to change the social norm" concerning tobacco use. The tobacco industry has threatened to seek a court order blocking implementation of the law.

Source: Jim Bergman
Smoke-Free Environments Law Project
The Center for Social Gerontology
Ann Arbor, Michigan

March 2, 2001

A judge Friday temporarily halted a suburban Washington community's anti-smoking ordinance that was considered one of the toughest in the nation. The preliminary injunction issued Friday by Circuit Judge Durke G. Thompson blocks Friendship Heights from enforcing a ban on outdoor smoking in public places, including parks and sidewalks. Repeat offenders faced $100 fines.

Thompson said that because the community of 5,000 was a special taxing district and not a true municipality, its village council did not have the authority to pass the ordinance last year. "In their zeal to curb smoking, they crossed the line," said Timothy Maloney, an attorney for Friendship Heights smokers who challenged the ordinance.

Source: AP (Mar 2, 2001)
The Washington Post
by Stephen Manning
Associated Press Writer


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