SOUTH PORTLAND — People gathering and lighting up on city sidewalks because smoking is banned where they live or work is a growing problem begging for a solution, city councilors said Monday night.

The issue was raised as the City Council discussed and ultimately approved a measure that banned the use of tobacco products within 25 feet of a school bus stop. The council also added electronic smoking devices to the tobacco products banned from use in the city’s public parks and recreational facilities.

Councilor Claude Morgan said he raised the issue of sidewalk smoking at the request of a constituent because residents of a South Portland Housing Authority complex at Broadway and Pine Street crowd the sidewalk to smoke as a group. Many set out chairs, he said, forcing pedestrians to walk around the gathering, and they leave piles of cigarette butts on the sidewalk and in the gutter.

“They sit and smoke 10 at a time there,” Morgan said. He noted that he asked authority officials to designate a smoking area in the complex when their properties became entirely smoke-free in the last year or so, but they declined.

“That problem (has moved) out into the neighborhood,” Morgan said. “Now we’re cleaning up that problem.”

Councilor Brad Fox and Mayor Tom Blake said it was unfair to call out the housing authority and its tenants as the only culprits.

Blake said many landlords and business owners have declared “smoke-free campuses,” forcing tenants and employees to venture somewhere nearby to smoke.

“Quite often, outside the campus is city property,” Blake said. “As a council we may need to have a workshop on this because it’s becoming a serious problem.”

Blake included Southern Maine Community College among the smoke-free locations where smokers gather on nearby city property.

Blake called the problem unhealthy and unsightly, adding that “some people have complained that they can no longer walk on city sidewalks.”

No date was set for a workshop on the subject.

White plastic chairs sat near the sidewalk at Broadway and Pine Street on Monday night, ready for smokers to add to the clumps of cigarette butts in the gutter.

David Bridges, a resident of the complex who was out for an evening stroll with his beagle, said some tenants gather on the sidewalk to smoke, but he’s not one of them. He usually smokes while he walks his dog.

“I abide by the rules and I don’t flaunt that I smoke,” said Bridges, 71. “It’s not something I’m proud of.”

Morgan said he pushed for the ban near school bus stops because he has seen parents smoking while waiting for their children and he wants to give “young lungs a good start in life.”

Councilor Linda Cohen said the ban on using e-cigarettes or “vaping” in city parks coincides with stepped-up efforts to address substance abuse at South Portland High School.

“This is just another addictive drug,” she said.

In response to a resident’s question, Interim City Manager Don Gerrish said police will be expected to enforce the ban on smoking near school bus stops, but “realistically, they’re not going to be riding around” looking for violators. He said he modeled the ban after a similar regulation in Augusta.

Designated school bus stops are posted annually on the school department’s website.

Councilors also have said they want to ban smoking at all city bus stops, which will be addressed at an upcoming meeting, Gerrish said. Smoking is already prohibited at city bus shelters.