Horry County looking at tobacco ban

A proposed ordinance would ban vaping, smoking, dipping and other tobacco products on all Horry County property, including parking lots and areas controlled by Parks and Recreation.

The ordinance up for its first reading during county council’s Nov. 29 fall planning retreat would mean no more smoking at county boat landings, and no smoke breaks in the parking lot for people who spend their days working in county buildings.

The county is considering the new rules due to the health risks of tobacco use.

According to the proposed ordinance:

“Smoking and/or use of any Tobacco Product is strictly prohibited on all Horry County Government properties, whether owned, leased, or operated, including but not limited to, offices, buildings, entryways, decks, patios and exits, parking lots, common areas, outside stairways, and parks and recreation areas, including parks, fields or facilities.”

The ordinance defines tobacco products as any product “made, or derived from tobacco or nicotine that is intended for human consumption, whether smoked, heated, chewed, absorbed, dissolved, inhaled, snorted, sniffed, or ingested by any other means.”

The rules would not apply to products marketed for smoking cessation.

Smoking in vehicles on county property would be allowed, provided the doors are closed and the windows are up, according to the ordinance. Smoking in vehicles owned or leased by the county would not be allowed.

The proposed rules would prevent county employees from receiving paid smoking breaks and stipulate that a county employee caught breaking the rules governing tobacco use could be subject to corrective action, including termination.

Members of the general public caught breaking the rules would be subject to a fine of $10 to $25 per occurrence.

The ordinance will still have to pass three readings before going into effect.

Christian Boschult: 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian