The first big piece of a County-wide campaign introducing the upcoming smoke-free and tobacco-free ordinances has been hoisted aloft in uptown Charlotte, and it’s hard to miss.
A banner three stories tall has been posted on the side of the parking deck at 4th Street and the I-277 ramp, announcing the soon-to-be smoke-free status of Mecklenburg County Government property.
Effective March 18, 2015, a Board of Health Rule prohibits smoking in all County-owned buildings in Mecklenburg County, the City of Charlotte, and surrounding Mecklenburg County towns, as well as any City, County or Town vehicles, grounds, parks, greenways, or parklands. The banner is just the first part of a greater public awareness campaign to let people know about the new law.
A separate County ordinance makes Mecklenburg County parks, and buildings on Park property tobacco-free, with the exception of 18 regional parks and County-owned/run golf courses. The tobacco-free designation includes e-cigarettes, smokeless tobaccos, water pipes, etc., as well as cigarettes.
Both the Board of Health Rule and the County Ordinance were approved by the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners in October. Since then, Health Department staff have been working with Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, County Human Resources, the City of Charlotte, CATS, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, and surrounding towns, to share specifics on implementing the new policies, identifying the number and type of necessary signs, and connecting them with resources to help current tobacco users quit.
“This is not the last you’ll see of this campaign,” said Dr. Marcus Plescia, Mecklenburg County health director. “This is a long-term health initiative that we’ll be doing more and more with well beyond March.”
For more information on the Board of Health Rule and County Ordinance (and to see a version of the banner now in place) and connect to resources to quit using tobacco, please visit www.tobaccofreemeck.org.
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