Smoking rates in Maine have continued to decline over the past 30 years. According to the State's 2022 Tobacco Advisory Report, tobacco use was at 27% in 1990, and was down to 15.6% in 2021. Maine has been toeing the line pretty closely to the national data.

When not at home, most smokers will step outside to get their fix. They'll stand near a door or a sidewalk of a building to smoke, but is that legal? That all depends on what city you're in.

If you happen to be outside smoking in Downtown Lewiston on Lisbon Street, you are subject to being fined. It doesn't matter where you are downtown. It's illegal to smoke anywhere from Main Street to Adams Avenue, which is the entirety of downtown Lewiston's business district.

Google Maps
Google Maps

How did this law get on the books?

According to WMTW News 8, business owners had complained that cigarette butts and wafting smoke is a turn-off for their potential customers, so the Lewiston City Council approved the downtown smoking ban by a unanimous vote from the six members in October 2019. The law prohibits smoking and vaping anywhere outside in downtown Lewiston, including the sidewalk.

I've never smoked a day in my life, so this was new to me (and others as well) even though it's been on the books for some time now.

One person posted in the Lewiston Rocks Facebook group, after being stopped for smoking downtown:

Does everyone know you will get a court date if you smoke a cigarette down Lisbon St. In the business district? What is this ludicrous? What kind of bull is it when a town can make you go to court for smoking a cig?

Another responded:

Good. The rest of us, being the majority, deserve the right to be able to walk the streets and be safe without having to inhale your smoke! You don't have the right to endanger our lives with your smoke. Go into your car to smoke!!!

Needless to say, people are pretty passionate about this law one way or the other, but now you know.

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