People Ban: NC Orange County

North Carolina

Orange County Update…

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OC Board Of Health Contemplates Broad Smoking Ban

30 September 2012
Kathleen Janes Reporting

HILLSBOROUGH? – Orange County public spaces may be cigarette smoke-free soon if government support for a smoking ban continues. A recent Board of Health survey of local government officials shows 90 percent support the ban.

Orange County Health Department spokesperson Stacy Shelp says Orange County is the second healthiest county in North Carolina. She says the board wants the county to be smoke-free to maintain that status.

“The board of health really feels like we need to be leading by example,” she says. “And the more we can do to protect the health of those of us who live in Orange County, work in Orange County or visit Orange County, the better.”

The ban would prohibit smoking in government buildings, vehicles and grounds as well as public places anywhere in Orange County’s limits.

Shelp says this ban is similar to bans passed in other North Carolina counties.

“This actually is more comprehensive,” she says. “It’s very similar to the ban Durham County just passed. So it incorporates more government grounds, sidewalks, places where the public is invited in.”
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Many poll respondents said the ban would improve overall residents’ health and some suggest the ban would be good for the economy by attracting visitors who dislike smoking. However, concerns were raised that the ban would violate smokers’ personal rights. Some also questioned the ban’s enforceability.?

The board of health is seeking public input about the ban. It’s holding a public hearing at its next meeting Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. at the main library in Hillsborough. The board will vote on the ban immediately following the hearing. If adopted the ban then heads to the Board of County Commissioners for a final vote.
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