County To Consider Banning Tobacco And E-cigarettes In Many Public Areas

County To Consider Banning Tobacco And E-cigarettes In Many Public Areas

County To Consider Banning Tobacco And E-cigarettes In Many Public Areas Featured

By / Local News / Tuesday, 03 December 2019 21:47

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

NEW HANOVER CTY - As many cities across America take steps to ban the use of e-cigarettes due to growing health concerns attributed to numerous deaths, the New Hanover County Health and Human Services Board will consider the adoption of a rule that would prohibit the use of tobacco and the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (e-cigarettes), at the regular Health and Human Services Board meeting on Tuesday, December 17, at 8 a.m. at the Health and Human Services building located at 1650 Greenfield Street in Wilmington.

According to a notice issued by the County, " The drafted rule prohibits the use of tobacco and e-cigarettes in county, town and city-owned buildings, vehicles and grounds, as well as in public places in New Hanover County, like restaurants, bars, entertainment venues and sidewalks."

According to County officials, "The proposed rule would be a local regulation under the provision of the Health and Human Services Board, and an addition to the already existing local tobacco ordinance and the NC Smoke-free Restaurants and Bars Law."

The Board is inviting the public to review the proposed rule and provide comments and feedback by noon on Monday, December 16. The Health and Human Services Board will review the drafted rule and comments at the December 17 meeting before voting.

The proposed resolution states,  "According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC), Smoking and E-Cigarette use and secondhand smoke exposure are leading preventable causes of illness and premature death in North Carolina and the nation" and, "The CDC reports that nearly 90% of smoking and E-Cigarette use are initiated and established before age 18, that most people who begin smoking during adolescence; the CDC reports that smoking and smokeless tobacco use are almost always initiated and established during adolescence, that most people who begin smoking during adolescence are addicted by the age of 20, and that adolescent smokeless tobacco users are more likely than nonusers to become adult cigarette smokers."

The resolution states, "The CDC advises that all individuals with coronary heart disease or known risk factors for coronary heart disease should avoid all indoor environments that permit smoking" and, "Research indicates that, during active smoking, outdoor levels of secondhand smoke may be as high as indoor levels and may pose a health risk for people in close proximity (such as those sitting beside someone on a park bench or children accompanying a smoking parent or guardian" and, "In air quality tests, concentrations of secondhand smoke in vehicles have been found to be far greater than in any other micro-environments tested, including smoke-free homes, smokers' homes, smoke-filled bars, and outdoor air- even with a vehicle's windows open and its fan set on high,"The resolution states, "In 2016, the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on E-cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults stated that emitted e-cigarette aerosol is not just water vapor, but contains nicotine and can contain additional toxins, making it less safe than clean air. Furthermore, e-cigarette use has the potential to involuntarily expose children and adolescents, pregnant women, and nonusers to aerosolized nicotine and, if the products are altered, to other psychoactive substances. Therefore, clean air—free of both smoke and e-cigarette aerosol—remains the standard to protect health" and, "On January 2, 2010, "An Act To Prohibit Smoking In Certain Public Places And Certain Places Of Employment," Session Law 2009-27, became effective, authorizing local governments to adopt and enforce ordinances "that are more restrictive than State law and that apply in local government buildings, on local government grounds, in local vehicles, or in public places."

The view the entire resolution, visit  www.nhcgov.com

The new rule would apply to new Hanover County and the Towns of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach.

Areas in Which Smoking and E-cigarette use is Prohibited
1) Smoking and E-cigarette use is prohibited in all of the following:
a. In any County, Town and City buildings.
b. In any County, Town and Cityvehicles.
c. On any County, Town and City streets and grounds, except where expressly permitted by County/Town or City within designated areas.
d. All other County, Town and City property including, but not limited to:
i. County, Town and City Parks Systems including playgrounds and
ii. Athletic fields and trails;
iii. Bus Stops on County/Town or City grounds;
iv. Sidewalks;
v. Public Transportation;
e. Smoking and E-Cigarette use is prohibited in County buildings and Towns and City buildings and grounds being used for private events.
f. Except as provided in Section 4 of this Rule, smoking and E-Cigarette use shall be prohibited in all public places within the County and Towns and City, including but not limitedto:
i. Child Care Facilities;
ii. Shopping Malls;
iii. Elevators;
iv. Polling Places;
v. Public Restrooms;
vi. Restaurants;
vii. Bars;
viii. Retail Stores;
ix. Galleries, Libraries and Museums;
x. Theaters, Entertainment and Sports Arenas;
xi. Gaming facilities including, but not limited to, Internet Sweepstakes and Video Poker;
xii. Lobbies, Hallways and other Common Areas in Apartment Buildings, Condominiums, Retirement Facilities, Nursing Homes and other MultiUnit Residential Facilities; and
xiii. Office and Other Commercial Establishments Where the Public is invited, or permitted.
Exceptions: Where Smoking and E-Cigarette use is Not Regulated By This Rule
1) In accordance with N.C. Gen. Stat. 130A-498(bl) and hereinunder, smoking or E-Cigarette use is not prohibited by this Rule in the following places:
a. A private residence.
b. A private vehicle.
c. A smoking and E-Cigarette shop if smoke or vapor from the business does not migrate into an enclosed area where smoking or E-cigarette use is prohibited pursuant Article 23 of the North Carolina General Statutes or hereinunder. A smoking and E-Cigarette shop that begins operation after July 1, 2009, may only allow smoking if it is located in a freestanding structure occupied solely by the smoking and E-Cigarette shop and smoke or vapor from the shop does not migrate into an enclosed area where smoking or E-cigarette use is prohibited pursuant to Article 23 of the North Carolina General Statutes or hereinunder
d. All of the premises, facilities, and vehicles owned, operated, or leased by any smoking and E-Cigarette products processor or manufacturer, or any smoking and E-Cigarette leaf grower, processor, or dealer.
e. A designated smoking or E-Cigarette guest room in a lodging establishment. No greater than twenty percent (20%) of a lodging establishment's guest rooms may be designated smoking or ECigarette guest rooms.
f. A cigar bar if smoke or vapor from the cigar bar does not migrate into an enclosed public place where smoking or E-Cigarette use is prohibited pursuant to Article 23 of the North Carolina General Statutes or hereinunder. A cigar bar that begins operation after July 1, 2009, may only allow smoking or E-Cigarette use if it is located in a freestanding structure occupied solely by the cigar bar and smoke or vapor from the cigar bar does not migrate into an enclosed area where smoking or ECigarette use is prohibited pursuant to Article 23 of the North Carolina General Statutes or hereinunder.
g. A private club.
h. A motion picture, television, theater, or other live production set. This exemption applies only to the actor or performer portraying the use of smoking and E-Cigarette products during the production.
(2) This Rule does not apply to any property owned, leased, or maintained by the State of North Carolina.
For smoking violations:
(1) Violations by persons smoking and using e-cigarettes in prohibited areas. Failure to comply in a prohibited area constitutes an infraction punishable by a fine of fifty dollars ($50.00). A citation may be issued by a sworn law enforcement officer. Conviction of an infraction under this section has no consequence other than payment of a penalty, and no other costs may be assessed.
(2) Sanctions for employees. In addition to any penalty under subsection (1), employees of New Hanover County and employees of the Towns and City who violate this Rule shall be subject to disciplinary action consistent with their respective employer's personnel ordinances or policies.
(3) Violations by persons who manage, operate, or control a public place. The New Hanover County health director may take the following actions and may impose the following administrativepenalty on a person who manages, operates, or controls a public place and fails to comply with the provisions of this Rule:
a. First violation- Written notice of the person's first violation and notification of action to be taken in the event of subsequent violations.
b. Second violation- Written notice of the person's second violation and notification of administrative penalties to be imposed for subsequent violations.
c. Third and subsequent violations- Impose an administrative penalty of not more than two hundred dollars ($200.00).
Each day on which a violation of this Rule occurs may be considered a separate and distinct violation.
B) For E-cigarette violations:
a. The Local Health Director may seek injunctive relief pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. 130A-18 to redress violations of this rule.
b. Violations shall constitute a misdemeanor as set forth in Gen. Stat. 130A-25.

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