County now smoke free on the outside as well

New policy calls for smoking ban on all property, except in designated areas

A no-smoking policy was enacted for all Essex County grounds Nov. 17, the Great American Smokeout Day.

A no-smoking policy was enacted for all Essex County grounds Nov. 17, the Great American Smokeout Day. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— On the Great American Smokeout Day, all properties at Essex County — both inside and outside —went smoke free.

A new regulation passed by the Board of Supervisors in October added smoking restrictions to outdoor county property Nov. 17, a policy that was drafted by a committee headed by Jessica Darney Buehler of the Department of Public Health.

Darney Buehler said that the committee that looked at the new regulations started a year ago and included members of the Board of Supervisors, employees from different county departments and help from other community-based organizations.

“This was an attempt to put together a policy that would be accepted by most at the county,” Darney Buehler said. “We conducted an employee survey which was used to help create the policy. It was a nice committee that was put together and we worked well together.”

Buehler said that the policy expands the indoor smoking ban to outdoors at county facilities.

“It basically says that smoking is prohibited at all times on county interior and exterior spaces, properties and grounds,” Darney Buehler said. “It is a really positive step for the county.”

Smokers will still be able to light up in designated smoking areas at each site, and Darney Buehler said that the policy tried to stay within certain guidelines.

“What we tried to go for was at least 100 feet from any entrance or window of a building,” Darney Buehler said. “That was not possible at each location, but we tried to do the best that we could at each property.”

The Board of Supervisors voted to adopt the policy on Oct. 3.

The policy includes continuing the committee for a minimum of five years and annual review of the policy with the goal of progressing toward prohibiting the use of tobacco products in interior and on exterior Essex County government spaces.

The Adirondack Tobacco Free Network and North Country Tobacco Cessation Center part of the North County Healthy Heart network provided resources and signs for the campus to assist Essex County in the policy implementation process.

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