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Rockville considers smoking ban on restaurant patios

Rockville considers smoking ban on restaurant patios (ABC7)

Rockville's Mayor and City Council are weighing a proposal to expand the city's smoking ban. If it is approved, smokers could be fined for lighting up in the outdoor eating areas of local bars and restaurants.

Adam Zimmerman is a longtime advocate of smoke-free spaces in Rockville, now pushing for the city’s smoking ban to apply to outside dining and drinking areas.

Under the current ordinance, first-time violators can face a $50 citation. The current ban also applies to vaping e-cigarettes.

“If Rockville takes this step, we'd be the first city in the D.C. metro area to have these protections in place for outdoor dining areas,” Zimmerman said.

But when asked about the proposal, several smokers and non-smokers in Rockville voiced opposition.

“[Smokers] have to be able to smoke. I mean as a former smoker, I know it's tough to quit,” said Shelli Block.

Larry McDaniel said, “Here in America, [non-smokers are] free to choose. Stay at this restaurant that has cigarette smoke or go to the next restaurant that doesn't have cigarette smoke.”

The city already bans smoking in Rockville Town Square and all city parks as well as the public golf course.

So where should smokers smoke?

“Hopefully in areas where there are as few people as possible,” Zimmerman said.

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