The Portland City Council has voted unanimously to ban smoking public parks and city-owned open spaces. The ban takes effect on March 6. City Councilor Edward Suslovic says the ban approved 7-0 on Monday is aimed at protecting the health of nonsmokers and is not to punish smokers. Smoking is already prohibited within 20 feet of playgrounds, beaches and athletic fields. The ban does not apply to sidewalks and streets. A first offense will bring a warning, but violating the rules a second time can result in a $50 fine. Several people spoke out against the ban, saying the city should put more effort and money into smoking cessation programs.