By WECT Staff | February 1, 2021 at 11:43 AM EST – Updated February 1 at 5:09 PM
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – New Hanover County’s Smoking and Vaping Ordinance, which prohibits the use of combustible tobacco and e-cigarettes in public places, went into effect Monday, Feb. 1.
Areas where smoking and vaping are prohibited include county, town and city vehicles, buildings, and grounds, and public places like restaurants, bars and entertainment venues.
“Evolving research shows that aerosols produced by e-cigarettes contain heavy metals and toxins, and there is still a lot we don’t know about the health effects of those vapors,” Health and Human Services Director Donna Fayko said. “So this rule is a comprehensive approach to protect our residents and visitors from known and unknown effects of second hand smoking and e-cigarette vapors.”
The ordinance applies throughout the county but does not apply to private residences, private vehicles, streets, sidewalks, vaping shops, designated smoking areas as permitted by state law and several other exemptions, which are outlined at Health.NHCgov.com.
Officials say enforcement differs depending on whether the infraction is vaping or combustible tobacco use, but both provide the option of an oral warning.
“Public Health’s focus through this ordinance is on education and not merely punitive action,” Fayko said. “Our team will be increasing our outreach and education efforts about smoking cessation, providing important resources for businesses and organizations, and working to help our residents stop smoking and vaping so they can lead healthier lives.”
Copyright 2021 WECT. All rights reserved.