Officials in the borough of Perkasie say they're considering a smoking ban similar to the one enacted in Quakertown a few years ago.
Currently it is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18; however the ordinance would make it illegal for teens to possess tobacco products.
“Our motivation is to help young people quit, and we think whatever incentive we can offer, whether it be a fine hanging over their head or the fact they don't want to be cited on the streets of Perkasie, whatever can help we'll take that help if we can get it,” said Lee Rush, founder and executive director of justCommunity, Inc. based out of Quakertown.
He adds a fine is just part of the deal. Teens cited will also have the opportunity to attend tobacco cessation classes offered by his organization.
Rush says he became involved in the discussion of a possible ordinance in Perkasie after a local newspaper did an in-depth piece on heroine addiction.
According to the drug-prevention specialist, Rush says cigarettes serve as a gateway to the abuse of alcohol and narcotics among teens.
“Drug addiction begins early in life a lot of times. If you can get to age 21 without ever smoking a cigarette, you stand a very small chance of ever smoking,” he said.
“I think that's a wonderful idea, as a former teacher I was always concerned about teenage smoking...it's just detrimental to the kid's' health,” said resident Bob DellaPolla who's in favor of the proposed ban.
The proposed ban is currently under discussion and borough officials say they plan to bring it up in the next monthly council meeting in September, before any decision is made.