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City answers questions on smoking ban

City of Hillsboro is smoke free beginning today, July 1

As of July 1, smoking and vaping is prohibited on all city of Hillsboro property, including the Civic Center Plaza in downtown Hillsboro and city-owned parking lots.

The Hillsboro City Council adopted an ordinance April 21 that prohibits smoking, with a goal of supporting a healthy environment for city employees and the public.

Below are frequently asked questions and answers the city is provided about the new policy.

Why is the city of Hillsboro going smoke free?

The health and safety of staff, visitors and the public is a priority to the city of Hillsboro. Secondhand smoke and the use of tobacco are significant health hazards and remain the number one cause of preventable death. Cities, counties, agencies and organizations across Oregon and the nation are adopting similar policies to protect the health of the community and promote a culture of wellness.

Implementing a smoke free campus is a key component of the city of Hillsboro employee wellness program, where its mission is to support the health and well-being of all employees. Due to the known tie between smoking and chronic disease, we recognize that restricting secondhand smoke exposure on our properties supports a healthy environment.

When does the policy go into effect?

The proposed ordinance was approved by the Hillsboro City Council in April, and will go into effect on July 1, 2015.

How will it be enforced?

Signs will be posted, stating the city policy, and will be considered the first line of enforcement.

Are tobacco cessation aides included in the ban?

Federal Food and Drug Administration approved cessation supports, such as nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum and nasal spray), or other prescribed medications, are allowable under the policy.

What about electronic cigarettes?

The use of electronic cigarettes and electronic smoking devices is prohibited on city property under this ordinance. Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are devices that often look like conventional cigarettes and deliver liquid nicotine and other chemicals. They have not been proven to be safe and are not approved by the FDA for tobacco cessation. According to the Oregon Health Authority, preliminary testing has identified chemicals known to cause cancer and birth defects in both first and secondhand ecigarette vapor.

Where can I smoke?

The City of Hillsboro Smokefree Campus policy prohibits smoking on all city-owned and operated properties, both indoors and outdoors. Employees and visitors must leave city property if they choose to engage in prohibited activities.

Can I smoke in my car?

The Smokefree Campus policy applies to all city properties, including personal property that is on city property. If your vehicle is located on any city-owned or operated property, then smoking in your vehicle is prohibited.

Are sidewalks considered a part of the smokefree campus?

It depends. If a sidewalk that goes through an outside property or grounds owned or controlled by the city of Hillsboro, including parking garages, then it is a part of the campus. If it is a public sidewalk, then it is not considered part of the smokefree campus. However, all local, state, and Federal laws still apply. For example, smoking is prohibited on public sidewalks that are within 10-feet from entrances, exits, accessibility ramps, air intake vents and windows by the Oregon Indoor Clean Air Act.

The city is responsible for enforcing this state law. See ORS 433.835-433.990 for more information.

How do I know if a city building or campus is covered by this policy?

All properties affected by the new policy will have signs posted to the building or entrance to the property, and ashtrays will be removed.


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