Public comment sought on proposed changes in Snohomish County smoking code

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Snohomish-Health-District-logo1Snohomish Health District is currently seeking public comment on a proposal to adopt and amend the state Smoking in Public Places law (SIPP).

The Snohomish Health District proposes adding language to the local code to make it clear that the law applies to marijuana and hookah smoking, as well as to pipes, cigars, and cigarettes.

Snohomish County residents are invited to provide comment during a formal public comment period October 15-30. An online survey is available at www.snohd.org/localsmokingcode. Written comments may also be mailed to: SIPP Public Comment, Snohomish Health District, 3020 Rucker Ave, Suite 203, Everett, WA 98201.

The local code would also better define the terms “employer,” “employee,” “public place” and “place of employment.”  These clarifications will assist business owners and the public to better understand the law. In Washington State, other local public health jurisdictions (notably King, Pierce, Spokane, Kitsap, and Clark) have adopted or supported similar changes and clarifications to smoking laws.

The Snohomish Health District is responsible for enforcing no smoking laws in Snohomish County, with the support of law enforcement and local jurisdictions. Public comments received during an earlier, preliminary public comment period Sept. 1-15, were used to develop the draft local code. Comments received during this formal comment period ending Oct. 30 will be provided to the Board of Health for consideration. The final reading of the code is scheduled for Dec. 9. A schedule for this process is posted on the website.

The Smoking in Public Places Law prohibits smoking in all restaurants and bars as well as in all indoor workplaces. Tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable illness and death in Snohomish County. Smoking laws reduce everyone’s exposure to second hand smoke and increase the likelihood that current smokers will quit. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia as well as hundreds of cities and counties across the U.S. have smoke-free laws.

Incorporated in 1959, the Snohomish Health District works for a safer and healthier community through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats.

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