Committee approves ban on tobacco use on St. Lawrence County property 9-4; measure now goes to full county legislaure for vote
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 11:50 am

By JIMMY LAWTON

CANTON -- A law banning tobacco use on St. Lawrence County property will now go to the board of legislators following a split vote by the Finance Committee Tuesday.

The committee voted 9-4 in favor of forwarding the proposed law.

Legislators Vernon 'Sam' Burns (D-Ogdensburg) and Stephen Putman (D-Canton) were absent.

Opposed to forwarding the ban to the full board were legislators Kevin Acres R-Madrid, Sally Brothers D-Norfolk, Tony Arquiette D-Helena and Donald Peck R-Gouverneur.

St. Lawrence County Administrator Karen St. Hilaire was in meetings this morning could not be reached for comment. The full board will vote on the law at the Nov. 5 meeting.

The law would prohibit tobacco use, in all county-owned vehicles and on all property owned or leased by the county.

The law includes exceptions for people using tobacco inside privately-owned vehicles that are entering or exiting county property or driving on county roads.

The law also allows tobacco use on county-owned forest-land as long as it is 100 feet from pedestrian and multi-use trails.

The law restricts placement of ash cans, ashtrays, or other smoking waste receptacles in any area that is prohibited from smoking.

Tobacco users in violation of the law could face a maximum fine of $50 for a first offense and up to $100 for additional offenses committed within one year of a prior offense.

According to the proposed law peace officer may issue a ticket.

The law was brought to the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators' Finance Committee by County Public Health Director Susan Hathaway.

According to the resolution the law is designed to "protect public health, safety and general welfare by eliminating exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke and tobacco residue."

Products restricted under the law include any manufactured product containing tobacco or nicotine, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco, bidis, snus, dissolvable tobacco products, and electronic cigarette cartridges.

To see earlier stories or to view the proposed law click here.