Posted: Thu, January 2 2014 at 11:54 PM, Updated: Fri, January 3 2014 at 12:17 AM
Umatilla County Commissioners have passed a ban on the use of tobacco on all county-owned properties -- indoor and outdoor.
Smokers were already prohibited from lighting up within 25 feet of a county building's doors or windows. The new policy will be phased in over the next 6 months. It bans not just smoking on county property, but also the use of devices like vaporizers and e-cigarettes.
Janet Jones is a community health educator at the county's public health department.
She says since e-cigarettes haven't been approved by the FDA, questions still remain about their safety. She says the evidence on smoking has been in for some time.
"In Umatilla County, we have a higher incidence of smoking compared to the state. So we need to do everything we can to help reduce that. And we know that smoke-free and tobacco-free work sites, really do help people quit," said Jones.
Jones says in Oregon, Benton, Clatsop, Deschutes, Hood River and Multnomah counties have already adopted tobacco-free policies.