County Board Of Health And Human Services Considering E-cig Ban

County Board Of Health And Human Services Considering E-cig Ban

County Board Of Health And Human Services Considering E-cig Ban Featured

By / Local News / Tuesday, 06 October 2020 01:52

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

NEW HANOVER CTY - The New Hanover County Health and human Services Board is considering  revising rules prohibiting the use of e-cigarretts and tobacco within the County.

The Board has been considering rules changes throughout 2020, and this will be a third period of soliciting public input on a rule change.

On October 6th, the Board issued a notice stating that at its meeting on Tuesday, October 20, at 8 a.m., they will consider additional revisions and adoption of a rule that would prohibit the use of tobacco, including the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (e-cigarettes) in New Hanover County.

According to the Board, "This is a revised version of the rule adopted by the Health and Human Services Board in August that includes the prohibition of use of tobacco and e-cigarettes in county, town and city buildings, vehicles and grounds, as well as in public places in New Hanover County, like restaurants, bars and entertainment venues.  Revisions include removing references to streets and sidewalks, and changing language to clarify enforcement by municipalities."

According to County offcials, the public is invited to review this proposed rule and provide comments and feedback by 5 p.m. on Friday, October 16. The Health and Human Services Board will review the revised drafted rule and comments at the October 20 meeting before voting. Residents may review the revised rule by clicking here, or obtaining a copy at the New Hanover County Health and Human Services building located at 1650 Greenfield St., Wilmington NC, 28401. Comments on the rule may be submitted online or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name, address and comment.

The meeting will be held via teleconference and the public can listen to the meeting by dialing 415-655-0003 at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, October 20. When prompted for the meeting identification number, press 808 594 284, then the pound sign (#). If favorable, the rule will move to the Board of County Commissioners for their review and approval at a subsequent regular meeting before becoming effective. To submit public comments on other Health and Human Services related topics, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name, address and comments by noon on Monday, October 19, to be read aloud at the meeting on October 20.

North Carolina teen tobacco use continues to climb, with youth use rising by 1.2 percent to 28.8 percent based on results of the 2017 N.C. Youth Tobacco Survey, released today by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Data also show that 16.9 percent of North Carolina teens report using e-cigarettes, compared to 11.7 percent in the National Youth Tobacco Survey, also released today.

The state survey showed e-cigarettes have been the tobacco product most frequently used by middle and high school students in North Carolina since 2015.

"The use of e-cigarettes by youth is very concerning," said State Health Director and DHHS Chief Medical Officer Betsey Tilson, M.D., MPH. "Nicotine exposure during adolescence and young adulthood can lead to nicotine addiction and it harms brain development." Another indicator that e-cigarettes will continue to be popular among North Carolina youth is 23.3 percent of high school students said they were considering using the products in the coming year.

One brand of e-cigarettes holds more than 60 percent of the U.S. market and delivers more nicotine than most of its competitors. San Francisco-based JUUL brand’s popularity among youth may be related to the product’s resemblance to a USB flash drive, which makes it easy to conceal.

"The marketing and flavors draw youth in; but the nicotine, which is highly addictive, keeps them coming back," said Susan Kansagra, M.D., MBA, chief of the Chronic Disease and Injury Section of the Division of Public Health. “Another worrisome trend we are seeing is that youth are using multiple tobacco products."
"The use of multiple products creates concern about nicotine exposure," added Dr. Kansagra. "There is also data showing that youth who use e-cigarettes are more likely to become regular cigarette smokers than those who do not.” The North Carolina survey is administered in the fall on odd-numbered years within randomly
selected middle and high schools. More than 6,300 students representative of middle and high school peers across state participated in the 2017 survey.

M.D., MBA, chief of the Chronic Disease and Injury Section of the Division of Public Health. “Another worrisome trend we are seeing is that youth are using multiple tobacco products."

Half of high schoolers who use tobacco and nearly half of middle schoolers who use tobacco report using more than one tobacco product, which is similar to national data. Use of cigars, flavored little cigars and cigarillos by high school students increased from 2015 to 2017. High school students are at risk of becoming addicted to nicotine, a fact confirmed by a North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services analysis of vaping devices confiscated from students at seven schools in various parts of the state.

For the last four years, e-cigarettes have been the most frequently used tobacco products among students in North Carolina. From 2011 to 2017, e-cigarette use by high school students increased nearly 900 percent with 16.9 percent reporting e-cigarette use in 2017.

Among middle school students, e-cigarette use increased by over 400 percent from 2011 to 2017. Use of e-cigarettes by students while in school poses health and safety risks and violates established tobacco-free school policies in North Carolina.

While the FDA has authority over these products, according to the current FDA time-line, the products themselves would not begin to become fully regulated until August 2022.

QuitlineNC is North Carolina’s tobacco cessation program, which can help people quit e-cigarettes as well as other tobacco products. For free help to quit, call 1-800-QuitNow (1-800-784-8669) 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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