County Limits Tobacco Use in Parks and Government Property

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners has adopted a Board of Health Rule and County ordinance to limit tobacco use on government-owned property. The move is expected to help reduce chronic disease caused by tobacco use in the community. 

Commissioners, acting as the Board of Health, passed the rule Tuesday night, prohibiting smoking in all county-owned buildings in Mecklenburg County, the City of Charlotte and surrounding towns, as well as any city, county, or town vehicles, grounds, parks, greenways, or parklands. 

A separate county ordinance also passed that makes Mecklenburg County parks and buildings on park property tobacco-free. Exceptions to the ordinance are 18 regional parks and county-owned/run golf courses. The tobacco-free designation includes e-cigarettes, smokeless tobaccos, water pipes, etc., as well as cigarettes. 

The Rule and County Ordinance will go into effect March 18, 2015. Until then, officials say the Health Department will work with Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, County Human Resources, the City of Charlotte, and the surrounding towns to share specifics on the new policies, identify the number and type of necessary signs, and find resources to help current users quit.