|County extends smoking ordinance to e-cigarettes
Certain parts of county to be affected by ban
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors at its meeting on Tuesday adopted an amendment to its existing smoking ordinance to ban e-cigarettes in certain public places in unincorporated Sonoma County.
The amendments, according to the board, will help protect the public from secondhand vapors that are emitted from electronic smoking devices. The ordinance covers places of employment as well as public spaces including dining areas, recreational areas, public events, and service areas.
“As someone who’s lost a family member to smoking-related disease, I am particularly aware of the need to address this health issue early on, and ensure that smoking does not become accepted as the social norm like it was a just a couple decades ago,” said Board of Supervisors Chair, David Rabbitt. “These protections can go a long way in keeping another generation from getting hooked on nicotine.”
The Board cited an additional reason for restricting e-cigarette use is out of concern for the health of children and youth.
Studies have shown a rapid increase in the number of youth using e-cigarettes, flavored tobacco and nicotine products.
According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey, use of e-cigarettes among middle and high school students doubled from 2011 to 2012. The Board also said there is also substantial evidence that flavored cigarettes of any kind are a “starter” product for youth who begin smoking.
Addressing issues of smoking and nicotine addiction was recently called out for action in “A Portrait of Sonoma County,” a report recently accepted by the Board of Supervisors.
The report offers an in-depth look at how residents of Sonoma County are faring in fundamental ways essential to well-being and opportunity, and calls for a “redoubling on antismoking efforts” in order to make population level improvements to health.