Bensalem Bans Smoking & Vaping in Public Places, Including Parks - But Not Golf Course! | Newtown News of Interest |

Bensalem now prohibits smoking and vaping in public township facilities, including parks and other recreational areas.


The ban on vaping was enacted unanimously by the Bensalem Council on Monday night.


Fred Harran, the township's director of public safety, said he believes Bensalem is the first municipality in Bucks County to outlaw vaping as well as smoking in public facilities.


The ordinance amends the township code to expand the definition of smoking to include "the carrying or use by a person of an electronic nicotine delivery system, electronic cigarette or other vaporizer device."


Harran said the ban came about because of the health risks associated with vaping, as with smoking, as well as the fact that other drugs besides nicotine are being used in the electronic vaping devices.


Bucks County recently joined Montgomery County in suing a major vaping manufacturer after they say children and teens were targeted for sales of vaping products.


"We are having a huge issue with vaping," Harran said. "There's all kinds of drugs being vaped. Now there's a lot of illegal substances. ... People are dying."


He said the Building a Better Bensalem Together Coalition proposed including vaping in


the ordinance prohibiting smoking in township-owned public places.


The ordinance defines a public place as "any indoor or outdoor facility, owned by the township, and used by the general public, including any park or recreational facilities, or serving as a place of work for public employees or a meeting place for a public body."


The ordinance does permit smoking at certain designated areas specified by the township, such as the golf course at the Bensalem Township Country Club.


A first violation of the expanded ordinance will be punishable by a civil fine of $50. A second violation shall be punishable by a civil fine of $100. Third and subsequent violations shall be punishable by a civil fine of not more than $250.


Any township employees who violate the provisions of the code can also be subject to disciplinary action as deemed appropriate by the township's Director of Administration.