The Chatham County Board of Commissioners has enacted a tobacco-free ordinance on county property, which includes a ban on cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco and vapor products.
The new policy took effect on Thursday and is an extension of the current administrative tobacco-free county policy implemented nearly four years ago. The ordinance also extends to any property that is owned, leased or maintained by Chatham, including vehicles, buildings and parks.
The move is in accordance with a growing trend around Chatham County of adopting tobacco-free public zones. Nearby counties and municipalities Randolph, Orange, Wake and Durham have all adopted similar policies.
According to the Chatham Journal, tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure are leading preventable causes of illness and premature death in North Carolina and the country.
“We are grateful for the commissioners and county leadership’s support assisting our efforts to reduce tobacco use among Chatham County staff and residents,” Chatham County Public Health Director Layton Long told the Chatham Journal. “Adoption of this ordinance is a clear indication that the commissioners care about the health of our residents and want to set an example for our youth not to use tobacco products.”