Lincoln County Commission planning to ban tobacco smoking on all county owned property in the county – even the fairgrounds in Newport
Citing data that shows Lincoln County residents are nearly twice as likely to be smokers than anywhere else in Oregon, county commissioners announced Wednesday that the county is taking an extraordinary symbolic step to discourage young people from taking up the addiction and for older folks to quit it. Commissioners announced this fall that they are banning all smoking in all county owned buildings, including the county fairgrounds health facilities and county work areas. This means when anyone comes off the sidewalk and strolls up to the front door of the courthouse, they’re not allowed to be puffing on a cigarette or cigar. No smoking inside or outside the courthouse…or inside or outside any other county owned facility.
Commissioners were told by high ranking county health officials that by the 11th grade, one in five students are smoking. Among adults over one in four. Other data shows that nearly 10,000 Lincoln County residents smoke. Nearly 3,200 Lincoln County residents suffer from a serious illness caused by tobacco use. Thirty percent of all deaths in the county every year are caused by smoking; 160 people. Data also shows that nearly $30 million is spent on tobacco related illness. $27 million is lost in economic productivity due to smoking.
Commissioners say they’ll be talking about the impending ban in further public meetings. They say the smoker’s shelter in the back of the courthouse will be removed.