Tobacco banned in Saluda city buildings, vehicles and parks

Published 2:02 am Sunday, May 18, 2014

by Leah Justice
Smoking and e-cigarettes are now banned from city-owned buildings, vehicles and parks in Saluda.
The Saluda Board of Commissioners met Monday, May 12 and approved the final version of an ordinance to ban tobacco products. The ordinance does not include city sidewalks, but does include McCreery Park and its pavilion and Spring Park downtown.
The city has been discussing the ban for a few months and has discussed whether or not to include the pavilion at McCreery Park since it is rented out for events such as family reunions. The ordinance was approved by a unanimous vote during last week’s meeting.
Saluda is following a Jan. 2, 2010 state law authorizing local governments to adopt ordinances that are more restrictive than state law and apply in local government buildings, on local government grounds, in local vehicles or in public places. The state law is 2009-27, “An act to prohibit smoking in certain public places and certain places of employment.”
The city park definition in the ordinance includes any parks owned, leased or occupied by the City of Saluda, including McCreery Park and its pavilion, Spring Park and all other present and future parks owned, leased or occupied by the city.
Smoking is defined as the use or possession of a lighted cigarette, lighted cigar, lighted pipe, e-cigarette or any other lighted tobacco product.
The city plans to post signs and remove all ashtrays and other smoking receptacles from its buildings and parks grounds. The person in charge of city buildings, vehicles or parks or his or her designee shall direct a person who is smoking to cease and if the person does not comply, the police department shall be contacted, according to the ordinance.
Following oral or written notice by the person in charge of an area, failure to cease smoking will constitute an infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $50. The police department may issue a citation with the consequence being only a fine and no court costs associated.
Employees who violate the ordinance will also be subject to the civil penalty as well as subject to the city’s disciplinary action within the city’s human resource policy.
“The City of Saluda is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace in all city facilities for its employees and a safe and healthy environment for those enjoying its parks,” states the city’s resolution regarding the ordinance; and whereas, the City of Saluda provides support to employees and residents who want to quit the use of tobacco products. Employees and residents are also encouraged to talk to their health care provider about quitting, ask about appropriate pharmacotherapy available through their health insurance plan or employee’s insurer, and use the free quitting support services of the North Carolina Tobacco Use Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).
The ordinance was effective on May 12.

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