The Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners approved with an 8-1 vote on October 21st a Board of Health Rule for Smoke-Free Government Grounds and a County Ordinance for Tobacco-Free Parks for County owned parks. The Commissioners -- acting as the Board of Health -- passed the Board of Health Rule prohibiting smoking in all County/Municipal - owned buildings in Mecklenburg County, the City of Charlotte and six 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 parklands tobacco-free. The tobacco-free designation includes e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, hookah pipes etc. as well as cigarettes.
Exceptions to both the rule and ordinance include the county's 6 golf courses and 18 regional county-owned parks. Three of these 18 regional parks - Reedy Creek, Freedom Park and Matthews Sportsplex will be tobacco-free during special events such as concerts, festivals, sports tournaments and other large gatherings. Click here for infographic describing county parks system.
Stay tuned for more information to come -
Mecklenburg County Commission Chair Trevor Fuller, Parks and Rec Director Jim Garges, and Health Director Dr. Marcus Plescia discuss proposed county ordinances for smoke-free government grounds and tobacco-free parks. Here's a link to "Charlotte Talks" with Mike Collins on WFAE.
Mecklenburg County regulations approved by the Board of County Commission at their October 21, 2014 meeting:
Frequently Asked Questions about the ordinance
Proposed Regulations handout
Tobacco Free Parks handout
Follow Tobacco Free Mecklenburg Coalition on Twitter - @TobaccoFreeMeck
Follow "Healthy Charlotte Council" Blog
See Tobacco In The News
Read "An Opinion on E-Cigarettes" by a local college student
Tobacco-Free = Lives Saved
Chronic disease is the #1 cause of death in our community with Mecklenburg County residents dying of heart disease, stroke, cancer, COPD and diabetes each year. Smoking and use of other tobacco products is the #1 factor contributing to these deaths. Currently, 20% of Mecklenburg County adults smoke. Smoking and tobacco use cause tremendous personal suffering, lost productivity in the workforce and high health care costs. Learn more facts about second hand smoke.
Strong evidence shows that smoke-free and tobacco-free environments reduce tobacco use by preventing youth from starting and encouraging tobacco users to cut back or quit. The goal is to reduce smoking from 20% to 10%, which will save an estimated 580 lives per year in Mecklenburg County. Learn how to prevent tobacco use among youth and young adults.
* see results for the 2013 NC Youth Tobacco Survey. See Middle and High School Fact Sheet.