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July 9, 2019

Board of Health ordinance restricts smoking and vaping in public places

Smoking and vaping is a community health concern. The Skagit County Public Health department makes it a priority to protect and improve the health of all county residents - including access to clean air.

“Smoking and vape-free policies are one of the most effective tools for protecting the health of a community,” said Jennifer Johnson, Skagit County Public Health Director. “Not only do they protect non-smokers and non-vapers from secondhand exposure, such policies can also be effective in reducing access and use by youth.”

On April 23rd, 2019 the Skagit County Board of Health passed the Smoking and Vaping in Public Places Ordinance.  The Ordinance established Chapter 12.51 of the Skagit County Health Code, prohibiting the use of tobacco and vapor products in indoor public places and places of employment, as well as within 25 feet of doorways and air intakes. The Ordinance also prohibits the use of tobacco and vapor products in outdoor public places where children congregate; including, but not limited to: playgrounds, parks, beaches, athletic field, and stadiums.

This new Ordinance and Code resulted from growing concerns in Skagit County about increased youth usage of these products, concerns of illegal substances being used in vape devices, a statewide increase of nicotine poisonings, and general support for clean air in public places. The intent of this Ordinance is to reduce access and exposure to smoking and vaping for children and youth, as well as promote a healthier environment for all residents.

A full description of public places, as well as the entire code, can be found online at: https://www.codepublishing.com/WA/SkagitCounty/

To assist with signage requirements relating to the code, a downloadable template has been made accessible at:  
http://www.skagitcounty.net/HealthPrevention. Signs should be affixed to all door entrances or at a visible location near building entrances, as well as appropriate interior spaces. 

Find more information about the new Smoking and Vaping in Public Places Ordinance online at http://www.skagitcounty.net/HealthPrevention. Questions about enforcement of the Code can be directed to the PUBLIC HEALTH ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH DIVISION at (360) 416-1500.  Questions about the Ordinance or Code can be directed to DANICA SESSIONS at DANICAS@CO.SKAGIT.WA.US or (360) 416-1500.

g in Skagit County please contact the Skagit County Fire Marshal’s Office at 360-416-1840, or our website at www.skagitcounty.net/firemarshal.