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Elk Rapids – A northern Michigan village has decided to ban smoking at its parks, beaches and trails following complaints about discarded cigarette butts.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports the Elk Rapids Village Council voted Monday to approve the ban.

The ban includes smoking of any tobacco product or other plant, such as marijuana, whether smoked using cigarettes, cigars, pipes, bongs, vaporizers or electronic cigarettes. Prohibited areas would include all village-owned buildings, plus parks, beaches, public access sites, fishing piers, trails and pathways.

Plans calls for self-policing of the ordinance, though a violation could draw a civil infraction.

Village Clerk Caroline Kennedy reviewed communities’ tobacco restrictions before drafting the proposed ordinance . She said the idea is to protect air quality for parkgoers and beachgoers, while also minimizing litter in public places from smoking.

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