Smoking ban approved

Published 4:54 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2023

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GATESVILLE – The use of tobacco products, to vaping or e-cigarettes, outdoors on county-owned property is now prohibited.

The Gates County Board of Commissioners, at their meeting here Feb. 15, adopted an amendment to a current policy that prohibits tobacco use inside county-owned buildings and vehicles. That policy has been on the books, but it stopped short of prohibiting the use of tobacco products outdoors on county-owned property, including recreational facilities.

Shayla Hayes, Public Health Education Specialist and Coordinator for Gates Partners for Health, was joined by Teresa Beardsley, Region 9 Tobacco Prevention and Control Manager, at the commissioners meeting last week. They explained the health risks associated with tobacco products, to include secondhand smoke.

They said what is “unchecked” in Gates County are tobacco-free government grounds and government owned parks and recreation areas (smoke-free – to include e-cigarettes – public places).

They added that compliance goes hand-in-hand with education…communicating the fact that the use of tobacco products is prohibited on government-owned property. One form of that communication is through the use of signage. Gates Partners for Health and the Albemarle Regional Health Services will provide the signage (in English and Spanish) as well as offering help to those wishing to kick the habit.

Since the agenda item called for an amendment to an existing ordinance, a public hearing was required. No one from the public spoke in favor or opposed the measure.

On a motion from Commissioner Linda Hofler and a second by Commissioner Emily Truman, the amendment was approved without objection.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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