Ban on beach smoking, vaping in Fairfield goes into effect without conflict

Per the new ordinance, smoking is permitted only in the beach's parking lot.

Per the new ordinance, smoking is permitted only in the beach’s parking lot.

Rachel Scharf / Hearst Media Connecticut

FAIRFIELD — Few issues have been reported after the Parks and Recreation Commission voted in June to ban smoking and vaping at the town’s beaches, parks and fields.

The ban, which amends sections 11 and 45 of the town’s rules and regulations, prohibits smoking and vaping on all of the town’s beaches, parks and school fields, including concession areas.

Director of Parks and Recreation Anthony Calabrese has been happy with what he’s seen from the ban so far, especially on the beaches during the busy July 4 weekend. He said he noticed smokers following the new rule and going to the parking lot to smoke, and he hasn’t received any complaints from waterfront staff.

“I can say with confidence that the recent rule change has been well received,” Calabrese said.

According to Capt. Robert Kalamaras of the Fairfield Police Department, no official violations have been reported regarding smokers or vapers on the beach. Kalamaras said that police have notified some people who were not aware of the ban, and most have complied once informed of the new restrictions.

Fairfield’s ban comes in the context of statewide actions to do the same on state park beaches. A bill to prohibit smoking and vaping on Connecticut’s beaches located in state parks passed the State Senate 33-3 on May 29.

The proposed ban, which was introduced by the Environment Committee, encompasses cigarettes, cigars, pipes, e-cigarettes and vaporizers. Per the bill, a first violation would incur a warning, and any subsequent violations would result in a fine.

The bill is now awaiting decision from the House of Representatives and signature by Gov. Ned Lamont.