Last month, Annette Haining, the Tobacco Education Coordinator for Marshall County asked the county commissioners to consider amending the county’s current Smoke-Free policy giving it more details and making it more effective.  She presented them with a sample policy for consideration. 

The current policy is one paragraph long and prohibits smoking, including E-cigarettes in all county buildings, vehicles, and properties. The policy includes all tobacco and vapor products and applies to employees as well as visitors on county property.

The proposed policy restricts the use of any tobacco product, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, and popes on all properties owned, leased, or operated by Marshall County.  The policy would be in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The proposed policy prohibits 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.  The restrictions are not limited to indoor and outdoor grounds but include walkways and sidewalks, parking lots, and county-operated vehicles.

The commissioners were supportive of the proposed policy with one exception.  That one exception is to allow for the existence of a commissioner-designated outdoor smoking area for county employees. Commissioner Stan Klotz said smokers have their rights too and he was uncomfortable with the 100% ban on county property.”  He commented that the employees who smoke are good people and employees and he wanted to be careful of their rights also. 

Commissioner Kevin Overmyer said he was okay with designating an outdoor smoking area for employees.  He commented, while the intentions are good, how would we police it and what would the penalty be for violators?

Jennifer Daake, the county’s HR Director said she likes giving the county employees a designated location to be able to smoke in. 

County Commissioner Mike Burroughs motioned to approve the changes to the personal policy on smoking with the inclusion of a designated smoking location and Commissioner Overmyer seconded the motion.  It passed with all three commissioners voting in favor. 

The second and third readings will be conducted at the commissioner’s next meeting on Monday, December 18th

The County Attorney told the commissioners he is revising his original draft of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to allow the county’s unrestricted opioid settlement funds totaling $24,756 to assist in moving the part-time Smoke-Free youth educator with Smoke-Free Marshall County to work full-time.  That position promotes a healthier lifestyle without vaping in the 7 school districts in the county.  Clevenger will present the revised MOU at the December 18th meeting.