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November 21, 2013

BROOKFORD, CLAREMONT, CONOVER JOIN COUNTY IN ADOPTING TOBACCO-FREE CAMPUS ORDINANCES

 

NEWTON, NC – In conjunction with today’s national observance of the Great American Smokeout, the Town of Brookford, the Cities of Claremont and Conover, and Catawba County Government are pleased to jointly announce the expansion of local smoke-free policies. The municipalities of Brookford, Claremont and Conover have all adopted tobacco-free campus ordinances that will be effective January 1, 2014, and in March 2013, Catawba County government implemented a tobacco-free campus policy.

The new guidelines support healthier environments in local communities by prohibiting tobacco use in government-owned or leased buildings and grounds, including parks. Cessation support for employees interested in quitting smoking is being provided in all municipalities, similar to the support Catawba County provided to its employees when its smoke-free campus policy was enacted in 2011.

The county and municipalities join a long list of other Catawba County organizations that have previously established tobacco-free campus policies, including Catawba County Schools (2002), Hickory City Schools (2004), Newton-Conover City Schools (2004), Catawba County Public Health (2005), Catawba Valley Medical Center (2006), Frye Regional Medical Center (2006), and Catawba Valley Community College (2009). Additionally, Catawba County’s restaurants and bars became smoke-free in 2010.

“The decision to expand existing smoke-free policies reflects a continued commitment by local leaders to promote a healthy and safe environment for their employees and the public,” said Catawba County Public Health Director Doug Urland. “We commend them for their leadership and support their efforts to foster a culture of health in Catawba County.”

“Across the nation, the Great American Smokeout has helped dramatically change Americans’ attitudes about healthy environments,” added Dewey Harris, Assistant County Manager . “We are very pleased that such awareness has led to interest in expanding local smoke free policies in our very own community.”

The decision to expand existing tobacco policies came after several months of discussion among local municipal leaders, many of whom are still evaluating similar steps. Signage for the new policies has been provided, in part, by a grant from the North Carolina Community Transformation Grant Project.

The American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout encourages smokers to use the date, which occurs annually on the third Thursday in November, to make a plan to quit smoking. For more information, visit www.cancer.org.