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Posted on: September 20, 2019

New Ordinance to Prohibit Vaping in Public Places


September 20, 2019

For Immediate Release

Contact: Karen Obermeyer

Jefferson County Public Health

(360) 385-9417

New Ordinance to Prohibit Vaping in Public Places.

The Jefferson County Board of Health passed an ordinance that addresses vaping, at their September meeting. The Ordinance “Smoking and Vaping in Public Places, Places of Employment and Outdoor Areas where Children Congregate # 10-0919-19” repeals and replaces the previous Jefferson County Clean Indoor Air Ordinance #04-0216-06. The original rules were adopted in 2006 to enforce WA State law RCW 70.160 which prohibited smoking in indoor public places and places of employment.

The new ordinance prohibits vaping in the same places that smoking has been prohibited, such as indoor public places and places of employment. Additionally, the ordinance prohibits both vaping and smoking in outdoor areas where children congregate, such as playgrounds, and parks. Washington State vaping law RCW 70.345 allows licensed vapor product retail outlets with an age restriction for entry, to allow tasting of vapor products as the only exception to the indoor vaping rule.

In Jefferson County, both smoking and vaping are now prohibited in indoor public places, places of employment and outside areas where children congregate. The public places as defined in the ordinance are required to post signs. Signs are available by download at, a limited number of hardcopy signs will be available at Jefferson County Public Health in October.

E-cigarette aerosol is not harmless.1  Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine – the addictive drug in regular cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products.2 Nicotine exposure during adolescence can harm the developing brain – which continues to develop until about age 25.2 Nicotine exposure during adolescence can impact learning, memory, and attention.1,2 Using nicotine in adolescence can also increase risk for future addiction to other drugs.1,2 In addition to nicotine, the aerosol that users inhale and exhale from e-cigarettes can potentially expose both themselves and bystanders to other harmful substances, including heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, and ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deeply into the lungs.2

Teens who vape are more likely to start smoking combustible cigarettes than those who don’t vape.3

According to the 2018 Healthy youth Survey, 37% of Jefferson County 10th graders have used vapor products in the last 30 days. Although this rate is concerning, most teens do not use vape products.

The Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service, VADM Jerome Adams, calls for action now to protect the health of our nation’s young people. “We must take aggressive steps to protect our children from these highly potent products that risk exposing a new generation of young people to nicotine.” The bad news is that e-cigarette use has become an epidemic among our nation’s young people. However, the good news is that we know what works to effectively protect our kids from all forms of tobacco product use, including e-cigarettes.” An example cited in this report includes: Implement evidence-based population-level strategies to reduce e-cigarette use among young people, such as including e-cigarettes in smoke-free indoor air policies.4

For more information go to:, call 360-385-9400 or contact  

                 # # #

Always working for a safer and healthier community

Download No Smoking / No Vaping Sign

Limited supply of hard copies of this sign will be available in mid-October. Contact

1 Office of the Surgeon General. E-cigarette Use among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2016.

2. Office of the Surgeon General. E-cigarette Use among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2016.

3 National Institute of Drug Abuse, Leventhal, 2015

4  Surgeon General’s Advisory on E-cigarette Use Among Youth

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