Oneida County is Tobacco-Free
As of Jan. 1, No Tobacco or e-Device Use Allowed at Any County Facility
As of Jan. 1, local law prohibits the use of tobacco products and e-devices on property owned or leased by Oneida County and is punishable by up to a $1,000 fine.
The local law prohibits the use of cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, powdered tobacco or any other matter which contains tobacco. It also bans the use of electronic cigarettes, cigars and pipes, or any other type of device that is composed of a mouthpiece, heating element, battery and electronic circuit that delivers vapor of liquid nicotine or other substances mixed with propylene glycol.
“Smoking is a leading cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S.,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “The enactment of this local law ensures that our county employees and the public are not exposed to the harmful effects of smoking at our county properties. It also promotes a healthier lifestyle for our employees by prohibiting the use of all tobacco products and e-devices.”
The local law prohibiting tobacco and e-device use was unanimously approved by the Oneida County Board of Legislators in November 2016. The law can be viewed here.
In addition to property owned and leased by Oneida County, the law also prohibits tobacco and e-device use in county-owned vehicles or privately-owned vehicles used for county business. A driver may use a tobacco product or e-device in a privately-owned vehicle being used for county business, if the driver is the sole occupant of the vehicle.
Since the passage of the law, the Oneida County Health Department has been conducting an educational campaign for employees and the public to make them aware that the tobacco and e-device ban was forthcoming.
“Anticipating the County Executive’s position to protect the health of County employees, the Oneida County Employee Wellness Committee was initiated over one year ago,” said Phyllis Ellis, Director of Health for Oneida County. “The committee assisted our workforce by scheduling smoking cessation classes and providing education to all employees and materials for the NYS Quitline.”
A person violating any provision of the local law will be issued a violation punishable by a civil penalty that includes a fine up to $200 for the first offense and a fine up to a $1,000 for a second and each subsequent offense.
Signage promoting the tobacco and e-device ban is posted throughout County properties and literature to educate the public of the policy will be distributed by Oneida County Sheriff’s Office deputies patrolling such facilities as the Oneida County Office Building and Union Station.
“The use of tobacco and e-devices on county property is now against the law and our deputies tasked with enforcing this newly-enacted law will take the duty seriously,” said Oneida County Sheriff Robert M. Maciol. “That being said, as we are in the early stages of its enactment, they will of course practice decorum and patience as they encounter offenders who may not be completely aware of the situation.”