Rutherfordton town council proposed 100% smoke-free ordinance, seeking public input

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RUTHERFORDTON, N.C. (WSPA) – Officials in the Town of Rutherfordton plan to crack down on smoking in public places to protect citizens from secondhand smoke.

Town council proposed a 100% smoke-free ordinance that would add to current laws aimed at prohibiting smoking tobacco in public spaces.

A 2018 report shows the rate of current smokers in Rutherford County sits higher than other towns in Western North Carolina and the entire state. The report calls for ways to decrease the use of tobacco and e-cigarettes usage in Rutherford County, including support from local governments.

“The Town plays a critical role as convener of partners and as an implementer of community policies to enhance community overall health,” said Mayor Jimmy Dancy.

The proposed ordinance would prohibit smoking at public parks, greenways, and at public events such as festivals.

“Little league season is starting up, we’re opening up some new parks and having people come to the parks is great now that COVID-19 is over. But we’re also seeing a much higher tobacco use in the parks and around our youth,” Doug Barrick, Rutherforton’s town manager, said.

The public is invited to attend the June 2nd Town Council meeting being held on Wednesday, June 2 at 5:30 p.m. at Town Hall located at 129 North Main Street, Rutherfordton, NC 28139.

The meeting will allow the public to provide feedback concerning the ordinance to council members. Residents can fill out a survey voicing their thoughts or send an email to Town Clerk Mara Short (mshort@rutherfordton.net) with the words Tobacco-Free in the Subject line expressing feedback.

If passed, the proposal would prevent people from smoking tobacco in all forms, including vapes.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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