Ephrata Police caution on new smoking rules

By on April 22, 2015

Ephrata Police are reminding residents of a pair of new ordinances passed by Borough council aimed at curbing smoking in the downtown area and Ephrata public parks.

Ephrata Borough Council at the end of the summer enacted two tobacco related ordinances, noted Lt. Christopher McKim in an e-mail this week.

The first was an amendment to the existing Parks and Recreation ordinance that essentially prohibits the use of products or simulated tobacco products — including e-cigarettes and similar items — in parks or other recreational areas.smoking

Those areas include, but are not limited to Grater Park, the Whistle Stop Plaza, and the Rail Trail, McKim said.

Ephrata Mayor Ralph Mowen, a driving force behind the ordinances, discussed the smoking issue at great length at borough council meetings last summer. Mowen told council that he had gone to Whistle Stop Plaza several times a week to personally help pick up cigarette butts.

“I’m there one or two times a week and (kids) are now helping me to pick up the trash,” Mowen told council in July. “Several of them are skaters anxious for the new skate park to open so they can move out there.”

McKim said there has been little loitering at the plaza so far this year. He said the skatepark is busy with many of the kids who had hung out at the Whistle Stop.

McKim noted that another new ordinance prohibits minors under the age of 18 from possessing or using tobacco products and simulated tobacco products on any property owned by the borough.

“These properties include, but are not limited to any park, and/or on any public street, highway, alley or sidewalk within the Borough of Ephrata,” McKim said in an e-mail this week.

The full content of the ordinances can be found in the borough’s online codebook:

Use of Tobacco (minors): http://ecode360.com/29238004

Tobacco in Recreational areas: http://ecode360.com/6857342

Patrick Burns is a staff writer for The Ephrata Review. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4455.

One Comment

  1. Eric Adams

    April 24, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    I can understand the cigarette regulation but why no e-cigs or vapes allowed?

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