Yes. A public hearing was held on July 16, 2018. During the public comment period on the proposed rule change the majority of feedback was in favor of expanding smoke-free areas in the City.
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Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in our community and each year over 700 people in Lane County die from tobacco-related illnesses. That means about 1 in 4 deaths is caused by tobacco use.
Public spaces include the sidewalks, alleys and city-owned right-of-way areas. They do not include privately owned areas like outdoor patios or parking lots.
The new rule was signed in July and becomes effective on Friday, August 24, 2018.
The downtown core is illustrated in the shaded section of the map below. It ranges from Lincoln St. to Pearl St., 8th Ave. to 10th Ave., and extends to 11th Ave. from Charnelton St. to Willamette St. The public right-of-way, consisting of sidewalks, medians, streets and alleyways, are included in the downtown smoke-free area. This ordinance does not include privately owned areas like outdoor patios or parking lots.
The use of any smoking instrument or device is prohibited in all of the public spaces within the downtown core, unless a private establishment has chosen to opt-out of the rule. If a private establishment is approved to opt-out of the rule, some or all of the public right-of-way immediately adjacent to its property could be exempt from the rule.
If a place of employment property owner outside of the downtown core would like to make the public spaces immediately adjacent to their property smoke-free, they may request to do so. This would prohibit using any smoking instrument or device immediately adjacent to their property.
These options are in addition to the current rules which includes smoke-free parks; areas outside government owned facilities that are within 25 feet of doors, entries, or pathways thereto, such as patios, walkways, and sidewalks; and areas within 10 feet of any other public doorway. A smoking instrument or device is defined as cigarettes, cigarillos, cigars, clove cigarettes, e-cigarettes, pipes, and other related products.
The primary method of enforcement will be education and asking for voluntary compliance. Community members are one of the best enforcement tools for a smoke-free policy. Most people do not want to be exposed to secondhand smoke, and are willing to speak up if they are being exposed and know a rule is in place that is being violated. Community members can help by asking people to follow the rule and stop smoking where it is prohibited. This is how similar laws in other cities have worked, including places like Fort Collins and Boulder, Colorado.
While a violation of City smoke-free rules is a misdemeanor which could lead to a citation, the goal is to receive voluntary compliance or movement of the activity outside of the smoke-free area.
Yes. The rule change includes an option for private establishments within the downtown core to “opt-out” of the new rule. The streamlined process includes filling out a form, submitting it to the City, and awaiting a response.
If you request to opt-out, the approved public spaces adjacent to your property become open to all members of the public as a space where smoking is allowed. Other limitations outlined in the code, including limits to proximity to the entryway, would still be in effect.
Property owners outside the downtown core can request that the public right-of-way adjacent to their properties become smoke-free. The streamlined process includes filling out a form, submitting it to the City, and awaiting a response.
Community education will focus on informing members of the public and visitors about the policy and referring people to cessation information if interested. The effort will include informational flyers, new downtown signs, a smoke-free downtown web page, outreach through local media, and information placed in city and partner agency newsletters. City employees such as the City’s downtown ambassadors will also help share the information with downtown businesses and visitors.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that e-cigarettes may be an emerging public health issue. More research is needed to understand the health impacts of e-cigarettes, but studies have found cancer-causing and toxic chemicals in the first and secondhand vapor. The CDC reports a sharp rise in the number of calls to U.S. Poison Control Center concerning children being poisoned by liquid nicotine. Without state or federal marketing restrictions, with the delay in setting age restrictions, and with flavors like gummy bear and Girl Scout cookie, more than five times as many youth in Lane County used e-cigarettes in 2015 than in 2013.
Oregon health insurance providers are required to cover smoking cessation.