At the request of Annette Haining, Tobacco Education Coordinator for Marshall County, the County Commissioner will use their unrestricted Opioid Funds to help provide a full-time youth coordinator for Tobacco Free.  The commissioner will also consider amending the current Smoke-Free policy to make it more detailed and effective. 

During Monday’s commissioner meeting, Annette told the commissioners the county’s policy on being Smoke-Free could be better, and she provided a sample policy for the commissioners to consider. 

The current policy states: In keeping with Marshall County’s intent to provide a safe and healthful work environment, smoking in all County Buildings is prohibited.  In addition, smoking E-cigarettes shall be prohibited on all Marshall County properties. The prohibition from smoking in all County buildings applies to all tobacco and vapor products in all County buildings and all county vehicles.  The policy applies equally to all employees, citizens, and visitors; signs are posted in county facilities.

The proposed policy said: This policy promotes the health and safety of Marshall County employees, citizens, and visitors by establishing a smoke/tobacco-free property.  

Creating smoke and tobacco-free environments protects employees and the public from the harms of tobacco use and secondhand smoke.  Smoke/tobacco-free environments encourage people to quit, prevent initiation of tobacco use by youth, and change social norms around tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke.  Use of any tobacco products, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, and pipes.  This policy applies to all persons on all properties owned, leased, or operated by Marshall County.  The policy is in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Haining’s proposed policy includes definitions of smoke, smoking, tobacco, tobacco-free, and property.  Under the property definition, she suggests the commissioner prohibit employees from smoking from curb to curb including offices, grounds, adjacent sidewalks, parking lots, company-owned vehicles, and employee vehicles parked on county-owned or leased property.

Smoking and the use of tobacco products are always prohibited on all property, owned, leased, or under the control of Marshall County always including, but not limited to indoor and outdoor grounds, walkways and sidewalks, parking lots, and county vehicles.       

The Commissioner instructed the county attorney and Human Resources Director to review the proposed policy and report back to them with recommendations. 

The county’s Tobacco Educator showed the commissioner a bag full of electronic smoking devices that were collected in one school in the county during the first month of classes.  She said last year the county had 53 establishments selling tobacco products and this year that number increased to 64.  Haining said many of those are convenience stores where kids can enter and shop. 

Marshall County currently has a part-time youth educator who works in all 7 school districts in the county, but Haining said much more needs to be done to educate students about the dangers of smoking and vaping.  She said while working with inmates in the Marshall County Jail Haining said 95% of them said they were first addicted to nicotine and a few began as early as 10 years of age.

Haining told the County Commissioners the current balance in the Ono-Restricted Opioid Fund is $24,756 and she asked for the funds to assist in hiring the youth coordinator full-time next year.    

The Marshall County Commissioners were supportive of the request and unanimously approved the funds.