Yolo County properties to go smoke-free in January

In January, Yolo County will be joining a number of neighboring cities and counties that have made their properties completely smoke-free.

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By Beth Gabor Yolo County Manager of Operations & Strategy

In January, Yolo County will be joining a number of neighboring cities and counties that have made their properties completely smoke-free.

Following approval of the Board of Supervisors in August 2017, and effective Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, county-owned properties throughout Yolo County will be smoke-free. This includes outdoor areas of the property, such as walkways and parking lots. The new policy prohibits smoking any product on property owned or leased by the county, including cigarettes, little cigars, marijuana and all electronic smoking devices.

To date, smokers have only been required to go 20 feet away from an entrance of a county buildings or to a designated smoking area to smoke. As employees, clients and visitors were still being impacted by the secondhand smoke, staff with the Yolo County Tobacco Prevention Program researched smoke-free policies in other counties meant to protect people from breathing in unwanted smoke in an effort to bring a similar policy to Yolo County.

“Diseases caused by secondhand smoke continue to kill over 40,000 people in the United States each year,” said Yolo County Health Officer Dr. Ron Chapman, MD, MPH. “Smoke-free policies that address both indoor and outdoor spaces are some of the best ways to protect our community, reduce that number and keep our county healthy.”

Nearby counties such as Solano, Contra Costa and Placer have all made their properties smoke-free. West Sacramento made its city-owned buildings and parks smoke-free in 2017, and UC Davis has had a smoke-free campus since 2014. According to Tobacco Prevention Program staff, Yolo County’s new policy will not only protect the community from secondhand smoke, but will also make it easier for current smokers to quit with provisions for cessation programs. Additionally, the impact of the policy is expected to reduce tobacco waste surrounding county buildings and promote positive role modeling for youth and children who visit county facilities. These all fit into the county’s broader goal of creating a safe and thriving community.

For those with questions about the new policy, contact the Yolo County Tobacco Prevention Program at 530-666-8616. Those who wish to quit smoking are encouraged to call the California Smokers’ Helpline at 1-800-NO-BUTTS or visit Yolo County’s smoking cessation webpage at www.yolocounty.org/tobacco-cessation.


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