Chatham County Government campuses to be tobacco free in 2016

Pittsboro, NC – Based on the recommendation of the Chatham County Board of Health and review by the Chatham County Board of County Commissioners, the County Manager’s Office reports that that county government grounds will be tobacco-free effective March 1, 2016.

Tobacco Free CampusThe updated tobacco-free policy defines tobacco products as cigarettes, cigars, and all forms of smokeless tobacco. Smokeless tobacco covers dip and other smoking devices, including vapor products (electronic cigarettes).

Beginning March 1, 2016, the use of tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, will be prohibited on or inside any property that is owned, leased, or maintained by the county. This includes any county vehicle, county buildings, and county property, including the Chatham County parks system.

“Building and sustaining a healthy environment is one of Chatham County government’s core responsibilities to its employees and residents. We are committed to the well-being of our staff, and will be providing cessation resources for those who are interested in quitting smoking, dip or electronic cigarettes,” said Chatham County Public Health Director Layton Long.

Long added, “We can all be positive role models for Chatham County youth. Having a tobacco-free policy sets the right example for our county’s youth by demonstrating healthy lifestyle behaviors.”

Chatham County’s tobacco-free grounds policy is about education and empowerment, Long said. The purpose of the policy is to protect people from the harmful effects of tobacco use and encourage tobacco users to quit while providing support and resources to help them do so.

“There is no risk-free level of exposure to tobacco, and expanding the tobacco-free policy to include all grounds benefits all Chatham employees and residents,” Long said. The policy promotes a healthy environment and reduces the harm associated with exposure to tobacco products.

To learn more about tobacco products and opportunities to quit, visit