Oneida County is cracking down on tobacco in the new year.
As of Jan. 1, the use of tobacco products and e-cigarette devices on county properties is prohibited and punishable by up to a $1,000 fine. Previously there were designated smoking areas on county properties.
Oneida County officials say they established an employee wellness committee more than a year ago to help employees prepare for the change.
"We provided education to all of the employees over the year, identifying that this will be a smoke-free campus and what can we do to help you, if you're interested in quitting, so it doesn't just start on January first,” said Phyllis Ellis, director of health in Oneida County. “Quit line materials were given out, health- and wellness-focused initiatives were occurring in the community."
County-owned vehicles and privately-owned vehicles used for county business are also included in the new local law.
Violations are punishable by fines of up to $200 for the first offense, and up to $1,000 for every subsequent offense.
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