Montgomery Co. passes ban on smoking, vaping within 25 feet of county buildings

Posted at 9:17 PM, Nov 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-18 23:28:08-05

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Tenn (WTVF) — Montgomery County commissioners passed a resolution prohibiting smoking and vaping within 25 feet of every door on county properties. The measure was introduced by district 15 commissioner, David Harper.

Harper said he worked on the resolution with Joey Smith, the director of the County Health Department.

Harper said at the meeting, 25 feet was reasonable a reasonable distance. The measures make it clear that is prohibits smoking or vaping within 25 feet of every door or entry otherwise into any building on any property of Montgomery County.

Director Smith said, when Tennessee passed the non-smokers protection act, it opened the door for local governments to pass measures ensuring smoke from the outside can't infiltrate inside.

"The rule of 25 feet helps Montgomery County be in compliance with the non smokers protection act by reducing the chance of smoke from infiltrating into one of our buildings, but it may also reduce our number of environmental smokers," said Smith.

According to the county health department, in Tennessee about one in 4 people are environmental smokers. Environmental smoking happens when smoke enters the lungs of a unintended child or adult.

It's a measure former smoker Allyssa Mays says she can get behind even if the measure was to ban smoking or vaping at 50 feet.

"You have to take into consideration the non-smokers, they choose not to smoke for a reason, so they don't want to walk out of a place or business and be bombarded by your choice of smoking," said Mays.

Even those who vape like Blake Rangel weren't surprised by the motion. Rangel said it was just a matter of time before the County started treating vaping like smoking.

"It's going to have no where close to the same effect it's just, I get it it's more of a courtesy thing," Rangle.

The commission vote was 15 to 5, prohibiting smoking and vaping within 25 feet of every door on county properties.