Friday, November 30, 2012

Newton County, GA Call to Action!

UPDATE 12/5/2012: This ordinance was passed. Members who attended the meeting stated they were not allowed to speak on the subject until after the vote.

Proposed ordinance would "prohibit tobacco use in all indoor and outdoor parks and recreational facilities at all times."


This ordinance would also:

Make it unlawful for any person to use any form of tobacco, including E-cigarettes and smoke-free tobacco, in all areas of county-owned or operated indoor and/or outdoor parks and recreational facilities, including but not limited to restrooms, athletic fields, rivers, parks, walking/hiking trails, agency-owned vehicles, and spectator and concession areas.

A vote on the proposed ordinance is scheduled for the next county commission meeting December 4, 2012 at 7:00 PM. If approved the ordinance would go into effect in April 2013.

If you are in the Newton County area, please contact us at for more ideas on how to help.

Please call, write or fax the members of the Newton County Board of Commissioners below.

What to say:

1. You would like them to amend any proposed ordinance to remove the prohibition on e-cigarette and smoke-free tobacco use.

2. Tell your story on how switching to an e-cigarette or smokeless tobacco product has changed your life.

3. Note that the statewide ban on smoking does not include electronic cigarettes in the definition of "smoking," and that a much more deliberative process should take place before the County Board of Commissioners expands the ban to include smoke-free products.

4. Explain how smoking bans are enacted to protect the public from the harm of second-hand smoke, but electronic cigarettes and smoke-free tobacco products have not been shown to cause harm to bystanders. Smoke-free tobacco products have never been implicated in any adverse health affects to bystanders. All evidence to date shows that the extremely low health risks associated with electronic cigarettes is comparable to other smokeless nicotine products. 

The low risks of e-cigarettes is supported by research done by Dr. Siegel of Boston University, Dr. Eissenberg of Virginia Commonwealth and Dr. Laugesen of Health New Zealand and by the fact that the FDA testing, in spite of its press statement, failed to find harmful levels of carcinogens or toxic levels of any chemical in the vapor.
5. Let them know that vapor does not behave in the same manner as smoke. There is no "side stream" vapor like the side stream smoke coming from the lit end of a cigarette and unlike cigarette smoke, The vapor is virtually odorless and dissipates quickly. There is also no ash or litter. Because of these facts, it is not difficult for people to differentiate between smoking and use of a smoke-free e-cigarette.

6. Inform them that the ability to use electronic cigarettes in public spaces will actually improve public health by inspiring other smokers to switch. Surveys of thousands of users indicate that the majority of those who switch very quickly completely replace tobacco cigarettes with the electronic cigarettes, reducing their health risks by 98-99%. So even if smokers think they are using electronic cigarettes just for indoor use, the chances are high that they will stop using tobacco cigarettes altogether

7. Tell them that by switching to a smokeless product, you have greatly reduced your health risks.

8. Direct them to the website for more information.

9. If you are in the Newton County area, make sure to point it out by leaving your address and/or phone number.

Newton County Board of Commissioners
Kathryn (Kathy) G. Morgan (d)
1124 Clark Street Covington GA 30014

Jackie Smith (County Clerk)
1775 Dixie Road Covington GA 30014

T.M. (Mort) Ewing (R)
District 1
1775 Dixie Road Covington GA 30014

Lanier Sims (d)
District 2
1124 Clark Street Covington GA 30014

Nancy Schulz (d)
District 3
1124 Clark Street Covington GA 30014

J.C. Henderson (d)
District 4
7134 Puckett Street Covington GA 30014

Tim Fleming (R)
District 5
1124 Clark Street Covington GA 30014

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