Upper Arlington police thus far haven't received complaints from residents or other park visitors regarding the illegal use of nicotine.

Following unanimous approval by Upper Arlington City Council, a ban on the use of nicotine in all the city's parks went into effect May 22.

The ordinance made it illegal to smoke, use electronic cigarettes or other vaping devices in the city's public parks, and first-time offenders face a $150 fine.

But as of July 5, the Upper Arlington Police Division hadn't received any complaints, and no warnings or citations had been issued.

"It's almost like there's been no change," UAPD Lt. Jason Messer said. "We've had no complaints about it.

"April 2018 is the last time we had a complaint about someone smoking 'something' in a park. The person who reported it wasn't sure what was (allegedly) being smoked."

When the ban was approved April 22, council members said it was a step toward improving the health and safety of residents and other park guests.

Councilwoman Michele Hoyle said it also would promote positive behavior within parks.

"This, in my opinion, is No. 1 and one place where a person's habit not only affects them but (also) those around them," she said. "Also having been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time at (Upper Arlington High School), those students repeatedly have said how concerned they are about the problem of vaping at the high school.

"Any time we can make this something that is not acceptable, it's positive, in my view."

Messer said if officers happened to be working security in a park or passing through one, they would approach anyone using nicotine products.

But he said patrol officers typically spend their time checking for traffic violations and driving through neighborhoods as opposed to parks. Reports from residents about nicotine use usually is what would spark a response from law enforcement.

For now, he said, officers likely would be more inclined to warn violators rather than issue citations.

"If we happen to be walking through a park and we come across somebody, we'd probably give them a friendly reminder that smoking is illegal and so is vaping," Messer said. "It's always an officer's discretion, but generally we want to educate people about laws like this and get to a mutual understanding.

"It's not something we're making a special effort to enforce. We will address it when we need to address it."

nellis@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekNate