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Durham Prepares to Turn Over A New Leaf

Durham County Board of Health Smoking Rule goes into effect August 1

Post Date:07/18/2012 1:30 PM

DURHAM, N.C. – For a city and county with a history deeply rooted in tobacco since the 1860s and where the haze and smell of tobacco product production once filled the air, the winds of change will usher in a new era in two weeks…a wind that ultimately helps everyone to breathe easier.

Beginning August 1, Durham County’s Board of Health Smoking Rule, which was adopted by the Durham County Board of County Commissioners in February, will take effect. The Rule will prohibit smoking in the following areas:

• City and County of Durham Grounds

• City of Durham Parks System (including playgrounds and athletic fields)

• Durham County Trails and Parks

• City and County Bus Stops (including a radius extending 100 feet, around the bus stop, excluding any private property that may fall in that radius)

• Durham Station Transportation Center (except as specifically designated)

• Durham Train Station (except as specifically designated)

• Sidewalks (owned, leased, maintained by the City or County of Durham and border Durham County property, City of Durham property, any public schools or hospitals)

The new Durham County Human Services Building, which currently houses the Durham County Health Department and Veteran’s Services, and its adjacent parking areas, will become tobacco-free under the new Rule, meaning that the use of all products (i.e. snuff, dip, chew) will be prohibited. The Department of Social Services, which will move into the building in 2013, will also be included in the tobacco-free zone.

A kickoff event and educational fair, to include local leaders, as well as elected and health officials, is scheduled for August 1 at 9:00 A.M. in Bay 7 on the American Tobacco Campus in Downtown Durham.

"While the Board of Health initially expressed some reticence regarding the Smoking Rule, we decided to move forward after realizing the health benefits to the citizens of Durham, and based on feedback, the readiness of the public to move forward in implementing the Rule,” said Sue McLaurin, Durham County Board of Health Chair.

Due to the upcoming changes, through November, the Durham County Health Department will offer monthly multi-week Fresh Start smoking cessation classes to those interested in kicking the habit. To register for Fresh Start, call (919) 560-7765.

For more information on the Durham County Board of Health Smoking Rule, visit or call the Health Department at (919) 560-7600.

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