Church Street Marketplace District Smoking Ban

 

Beginning Wednesday, December 17, 2014, smoking is prohibited in the Church Street Marketplace District.

Click here to view a copy of the Burlington City Ordinance.

Click here for a map of the Church Street Marketplace District.

 

WHERE ON CHURCH STREET IS SMOKING PROHIBITED?  

The ordinance is enforced throughout the Church Street Marketplace District, an area that includes Church Street between Main & Pearl Streets and the sidewalks along Church Street buildings that extend down the side streets of Pearl, Cherry, Bank, College & Main Streets. Please see the map above.

 

WHAT DOES THE ORDINANCE PROHIBIT?  

The ordinance prohibits the use of lighted tobacco products, as well as "tobacco substitutes" like electronic cigarettes, at all times. 

 

WHAT ARE THE FINES?  

A warning will we issued for a first violation.  A second violation carries a $50 fine.  Subsequent offenses will be fined $100.

 

WHO WILL BE ENFORCING THE ORDINANCE?  

The Burlington Police Department will enforce the ordinance by issuing municipal tickets.  We encourage residents and visitors alike to help us, by gently reminding people that smoking on Church Street is now prohibited.

 

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS ORDINANCE?

1.       Protect the health of residents and visitors by eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke.  The US Surgeon General’s 2006 report states, “There is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke.  Any exposure to tobacco smoke – even an occasional cigarette or exposure to secondhand smoke – is harmful.”

2.       Increase cleanliness of Church Street and help reduce maintenance costs associated with removing cigarette butts (between $6,000 and $9,000 annually). 

3.       Support Burlington’s national reputation as a healthy city. Burlington enjoys a national reputation for health and well-being, having been recognized as “One of America’s Healthiest Cities,” by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  “Fittest, healthiest, and happiest city to live in for women” by Self Magazine and “Healthiest City for Men” by Men’s Health Magazine

  

WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THE POPULATION DOES NOT SMOKE?

The majority of residents and visitors coming to Church Street do not smoke.  

--86% of all Chittenden County residents do not smoke

--83% of all Vermont residents do not smoke

--76% of all Quebec residents do not smoke

--93% of Quebec residents surveyed by the Church Street Marketplace said they would still come to Church Street if smoking were prohibited.

--81.9% of all US adults do not smoke. 

Sources:  Vermont Department of Health; Statistics Canada; Church Street Marketplace; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

 

HAVE ATTITUDES ABOUT SMOKING ON CHURCH STREET BEEN CHANGING?

Yes. Over the years, surveys of Church Street businesses have showed a significant shift of attitudes towards smoking in public.   

--In 2010, 68 percent of Church Street businesses surveyed opposed a smoking ban on Church Street.  

--By 2011, the number of Church Street businesses opposed to a smoking ban dropped to 54%.

--In 2012, the Burlington City Council voted 8-6 to ban smoking in a wider area around the Church Street Marketplace; then Mayor Bob Kiss vetoed that ordinance.

--By May 2014, 76 percent of businesses surveyed favored a smoking ban on Church Street from 9 AM – 9 PM daily. 

 

HOW DID THIS ORDINANCE COME ABOUT?  

A recommendation to prohibit smoking on Church Street from 9 am to 9 pm was passed unanimously by the Church Street Marketplace Commission on May 21, 2014, and sent to the Burlington City Council for their consideration.  The Council’s Ordinance Committee held public hearings during the summer and early fall.  Concerns about the health risks posed by second-hand smoke prompted the City Council to extend the smoking ban to 24 hours.  The City Council passed the ordinance by an 11-3 vote on November 10.

 

WHICH CITY COUNCILORS SPONSORED THIS ORDINANCE?  

Chip Mason, D-Ward 5; Karen Paul, D-Ward 6;  Joan Shannon, D-Ward 5; Vince Brennan, P-Ward 3; David Hartnett, D-Ward 4; Norm Blais, D-Ward 6. 

 

HAVE OTHER SUCCESSFUL PEDESTRIAN MALLS BANNED SMOKING?  

Pedestrian malls on the scale of the Church Street Marketplace, including Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica and Ithaca Commons in Ithaca, and the nation’s largest pedestrian shopping area, Times Square in New York City, have municipal ordinances that prohibit smoking in the public right of way.