Thursday, October 30, 2014

Clatsop County recently enacted the second phase of a new tobacco free campus policy that includes the prohibition at nearly all county properties. No tobacco of any kind is permitted with the exception of a smoking area for jurors outside the courthouse where staff can keep an eye on those who are on jury duty to make sure they are not approached by the public during breaks in the courtroom.  There is one other exception at the moment but the Clatsop County Fair Board is now considering how they might comply with the tobacco ban.  The issue was a topic of discussion at Tuesday's fair board meeting. Fairgrounds Manager Gary Friedman told his board that he had contacted the managers of other county fairgrounds about the issue and he said that many have enacted no smoking policies with little, if any, negative feedback.  It was not clear from the discussion if those are bans on all forms of tobacco or just smoking bans.  The fair board members were not clear about what kind of flexibilty they might have in enacting their own rules regarding the county ordinance.  There was a suggestion that for events involving more than 500 people at the fairgrounds it may be more practical to establish designated smoking areas. As an example, the board seemed to agree that a tobacco ban in the area of the exhibit hall, horse facilties, and the arena might work well sending smokers and other tobacco users to the lower parking areas.  There was also discussion about the carnival workers who come to run the rides and games at the county fair and how a ban might affect them. Friedman stated that those workers are not allowed to smoke when operating the rides and would most likely take their smoke break away from that lower lot to an area where they camp on site.  The board did not make a decision on the issue last night. Friedman said he would contact the county to discuss the ordinance in further detail to determine whether or not the county would allow exceptions to the tobacco-free campus policy.

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