Smoking vs. non-smoking in county buildings
SCHUYLER COUNTY—No smoking regulations on all Schuyler County office property is in the works.
If passed, the new law will be in effect within the next few months.
The county is working toward better public health for the public and its employees to help bring down health insurance costs for employees.
Smoking sensation programs in Schuyler County are offered to the public and employees at no charge, but are not well attended. It is hoped this smoking ban will help these prevention and cessation efforts.
If the ban is enacted, Schuyler County employees will be most affected, because most full-time employees are on county office property all day and some part-time employees are on county office property for hours. Legislator Glenn Larison said employees could easily get off county office property within their 15 minute breaks by simply going for a walk down the street. However, this could be an issue during cold winter months.
According to County Administrator Tim O’Hearn, employees have been notified of the possible smoking ban, and feedback has been mixed.
Smoking is currently prohibited within 50 feet of the entryways to county buildings, and the use of any form of tobacco is prohibited inside all county-owned, leased, operated or controlled buildings, county-owned vehicles, means of mass transportation operated by the county, and any other areas where the use of tobacco is prohibited by fire codes or state regulations. These regulations were added to the county’s smoking policy Feb. 11, 2008.
New York State already has smoking regulations in public and work places. Schuyler County Legislators mentioned that smoking bans have become a cultural thing like not smoking on school or hospital grounds, a few fines have been given out and people have complained but they have complied as well.
A local law will have to be put in place in order to enact the smoking ban.
The law could be voted on at the next Schuyler County Legislature meeting Monday, May 10 or be set back to committee for more work at the end of May.Copyright © 2010 FINGER LAKES MEDIA. All rights reserved.