Local News

Panel calls for public smoking ban in Orange

Posted October 25, 2012 1:44 p.m. EDT

Bill would ban smoking in public spaces in N.C.

— The Orange County Board of Health voted Wednesday for a rule to ban smoking in public places across the county.

The county Board of Commissioners is expected to discuss the proposal on Nov. 20. If approved, the ban would take effect next July.

Local high school students began two years ago pushing the idea of a smoking ban in places such as government property, vehicles, parks and sidewalks, officials said. The Board of Health researched the issue of second-hand smoke's health effects before deciding to move forward with the issue.

The board collected public input in recent weeks and found that a smoking ban in various locales was backed by more than 70 percent of people responding to surveys.

During a public hearing Wednesday night, five people spoke in favor of a ban, while a sixth said prohibiting smoking on sidewalks would be going too far.