Nov 13, 2012 7:34 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Supervisors approve ban of tobacco on county property

TUCSON - The Pima County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a stricter policy that bans smoking and all other tobacco products on county property.

The decision was made quickly and collectively. Supervisors said the move was an effort to crack down on smoking for its employees to help reduce the cost of health insurance coverage for its employees.

"I think it's very difficult to construct any kind of argument in favor of smoking, so I think it's a good policy that our employees are going to have to abide by and I think it will probably serve us well into the future," said District 5 Supervisor Richard Elias.

Smokers had a mixed reaction to the news. Some were on board to respect the new policy while others believe it was unwarranted.

"I believe it's like a hospital setting," said Sylvia Davila as she waited on a bench outside the county administration buildings. "You know it's a smoke free zone, I wouldn't understand why people would be offended by it."

Supervisors Ann Day and Ray Carroll shared the personal impacts smoking has had on their lives, telling those who attended the hearing that their parents had died from Emphysema caused by smoking.

"This does not affect the public and their activity on our properties like parks and other places where smoking is allowed, but as far as around our buildings, that prohibition remains in place and our employees are going to have to leave the grounds in order to smoke," Elias told News 4 Tucson.


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