The city of Houston expands it's no-smoking policy to include all library properties along with city owned parks.

The no-smoking policy goes into effect Thursday at all of the Houston Library's downtown properties -- then September 2 at all other libraries.

No smoking signs also are going up in all 800 city parks.

Council member Ellen Cohen chairs the city's Quality of Life Committee which heard an update on the policy Wednesday.

“People smoking in parks or outside the libraries, that puts second-hand smoke out there and its detrimental to others,” Cohen tells KTRH News.  “There used to be smoking at ballparks and that kind of thing, but there's certainly no smoking now.

Cohen says cigarette butts also dirty the landscape.

“It actually takes 15 years for a cigarette butt to decompose,” she says.

So where can you smoke in Houston?

“You can still smoke on city sidewalks, but not within parks and not within a certain area of libraries,” Cohen says.

Police will first warn violators, but those who resist could face fines up to $2,000.