On Tuesday, April 23rd, Skagit county commissioners voted unanimously to ban smoking and vaping in public spaces. It will go into effect in ninety days.
The Public Health Staff proposed the ban on March 12, and the proposal was left open for public comment for six weeks before the Commissioners adopted the plan.
Under the new law, smoking and vaping will be banned within twenty-five feet of the door of any employer and all places where children can gather, such as beaches or parks.
The ordinance reads as a warning to smokers, citing the effects of nicotine and vapor particulates, and alarming statistics about the rate of smoking for those under twenty-one. Per the ordinance, local data from Skagit County shows that 18% of local teens in twelfth grade reported e-cigarette use, using nicotine approximately half of the time, and 21% reporting THC use.
At the time of the proposed bad, Skagit County Public Health had not formally adopting the Washing State Smoking in Public Places Law, which has been in place for 14 years, nor had they taken any action to restrict vaping similarly.
“Smoking and vape-free policies are one of the most effective tools for protecting the health of a community,” said Jennifer Johnson, Skagit County Public Health Director. “Not only do they protect non-smokers and non-vapers from secondhand exposure, such policies can also be effective in reducing access and use by youth.”