TO: Roger L. Stancil, Town Manager
FROM: Sabrina M. Oliver, Communications and Public Affairs Director
Valerie Meicher, Human Resource Development Director
SUBJECT: Response to Orange County Health Department Petition Requesting Consideration of Supporting a Ban on all Tobacco Use in Municipal Buildings
DATE: May 5, 2008
Adoption of the attached resolution would permit Orange County’s ordinance prohibiting tobacco use to be applicable in the Town of Chapel Hill in buildings owned by or leased to Orange County and public transportation vehicles owned by or leased to Orange County.
The Orange County Board of Commissioners passed an ordinance, effective April 1, 2008, restricting tobacco use in all county buildings and within 50 feet of all buildings housing county health and social services offices and services in accordance with North Carolina General Statute 130A-498 (Attachment 1).
The Orange County Health Department petitioned the Council on March 17, 2008 to adopt a resolution to make the county’s ordinance apply to county buildings located within Chapel Hill municipal limits (Attachment 2). In addition, the County Commissioners and Board of Health encouraged the Town to pass a similar ordinance for all Town buildings.
The Town has ordinances (Chapter 11, Articles XIII, XV, and XVI, of the Code of Ordinances) that prohibit smoking in specific public places including but not limited to Town buildings and vehicles, buses and taxi cabs, seating areas of sports arenas and convention halls, service lines, elevators, polling places, restaurants and bars, and retail stores, with the exception of private dwelling units in Town-owned or leased public housing neighborhoods, and a residential shelter in a Town-owned building. Smoking is permitted outside of Town-owned buildings except where prohibited by the Town Manager, such as near playgrounds or in front of the Courthouse.
The Town also regulates smoking in places of employment, the sale of tobacco to minors, and the placement of tobacco products in vending machines (Attachment 3).
Article I, Section 11-5 of the Town Code of Ordinances regulates behaviors such as spitting on the floor of Town Hall, the library and any other public building of the Town. It also prohibits throwing cigarette or cigar butts on the floor of any public building (Attachment 4).
We believe that the Town has sufficient “no-smoking” coverage and regulations of behaviors associated with tobacco use by current ordinances applicable to Town property.
Adoption of the attached resolution would prohibit tobacco use in buildings owned by or leased to Orange County and public transportation vehicles owned by or leased to Orange County.
We recommend that the Council adopt the resolution permitting Orange County’s ordinance prohibiting tobacco use to be applicable within the Town of Chapel Hill.