Yesterday, January 13th, 2015 the Marion County Board of Commissioners voted to adopt an ordinance that bans the use of all tobacco products on any county property. In addition to the ban, the county will begin phasing out designated smoking areas over the next 18 months.
Previously a ban had exited that was limited to cigarettes and electronic cigarettes. The new ordinance includes cigars, pipes, and chewing tobacco.
According to Emily de Hayr the coordinator of the health department’s chronic disease prevention program the ordinance was to ultimately protect county employees an clients from the second-hand smoke. It is also about supporting those who want to quit.
Emily de Hayr, the health department’s chronic disease prevention program coordinator, said the ordinance was ultimately about the health of county employees and clients — both to protect people from second-hand smoke and to support those who want to quit.
The lone vote against the ordinance was commissioner Sam Brentano. The ban which is set to go into effect in 90 days applies to all owned or leased county property, including but not limited to parks, parking lots, and grassy areas. Public areas that have been designated for smoking will be phased out by June, while jails, public works and correctional facility will be phased out by June of 2016.
The current fine for violating the ordinance is $100 but the board of commissioners could set new amounts.
Marion County, Oregon is home to 323,000 residents over 1,194 square miles and was founded in 1843.