Smoking & Vaping Ordinance

Smoking and Vaping now limited in public places across New Hanover County

On Monday, November 16, 2020, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners voted to implement an ordinance mirroring a Health and Human Services Board rule prohibiting the use of combustible tobacco and e-cigarettes in New Hanover County, effective February 1, 2021.

Tobacco use has been one of the leading causes of preventable death and chronic disease in our country for decades. On top of that, use of e-cigarettes and vaping devices, that contain harmful products and nicotine, is increasing among our youth. Between 2011-2017, the NC Youth Tobacco Survey found that current e-cigarette use had increased by 894% in high school students and 430% in middle school students.

The new ordinance aligns the expectations of vaping with traditional cigarette smoking in most public places, and protects residents from unwanted inhalation of second hand smoke and e-cigarette vapors. Areas where smoking and vaping will be prohibited include county, town and city buildings, vehicles and grounds, and public places like restaurants, bars and entertainment venues.

View the full ordinance here and a detailed list of where smoking and vaping is prohibited below.

SUBMIT A COMPLAINT HERE

 

New Hanover County Smoking & Vaping Ordinance

Smoking/Vaping Permitted as of February 1, 2021

Smoking/Vaping Prohibited as of February 1, 2021

  • Personal residence
  • Personal vehicle
  • Designated areas of unenclosed sections in restaurants and bars.
  • Privately owned unenclosed areas (business parking lot, business patio, etc.)
  • Smoking/E-cigarette shop
  • Cigar bar
  • Designated smoking/vaping guest room in a lodging establishment
  • Private club
  • Movie, TV, theater or other live production set, only for the actor portraying smoking/vaping
  • A public area at such time group therapeutic rehabilitation is being conducted

 

  • County, Town and City buildings
  • County, Town and City vehicles
  • Any County, Town and City grounds, except where expressly permitted
  • County, Town and City parks, playgrounds, athletic field and trails except where expressly permitted
  • Bus stops on County, Town or City grounds
  • Public Transportation
  • Child Care Facilities
  • Shopping Malls & Retail Stores
  • Elevators
  • Polling Places
  • Public Restrooms
  • Restaurants and Bars (except where expressly permitted in unenclosed areas)
  • Galleries, Libraries and Museums
  • Theaters, Entertainment and Sports Arenas
  • Gaming facilities including Internet Sweepstakes
  • Lobbies, hallways and common areas in multi-unit residential facilities (apartment buildings, retirement facilities, nursing homes, etc.)
  • Offices and commercial establishments where the public is invited or permitted.

*This ordinance would not apply to any property owned, leased or maintained by the State of North Carolina

Letter to Businesses

  1. Post appropriate signs reflecting both no smoking and no e-cig/vaping. Signs must be posted at each entrance to businesses covered by the law. For more information regarding sign requirements, please reference Section 6: Signage of the Ordinance. Below are some printable options.
  2. Remove all ashtrays and other smoke receptacles from the areas where smoking is prohibited. This includes all indoor areas in businesses, except smoking rooms in hotels.

Letter to the Community

  1. People benefit from reduced exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke (a strongly documented health threat) and secondhand e-cigarette emissions (known to contain harmful chemicals).
  2. Having fewer places where people can smoke or vape supports people who are trying to quit and those who have quit by not exposing them to the products they are working to quit using.
  3. Our youth will be much less likely to see people (including their role models) using cigarettes and e-cigarettes in public places, reducing their likelihood of trying it for themselves.

Letter to Local Government and Municipal Leads

  1. Post appropriate signs reflecting both no smoking and no e-cig/vaping. For more information regarding sign requirements, please reference Section 6: Signage of the Ordinance. Below are some printable options. New Hanover County Public Health will provide outdoor signs for pick up upon request.
  2. Remove all ashtrays and other smoke receptacles from the areas where smoking is prohibited. These areas include all government buildings, grounds, bus stops, and parks and recreation areas, including trails, athletic fields and playgrounds.
  1. Where is smoking and vaping prohibited?
    • See a more detailed list in the Smoking & Vaping Ordinance section above or list here.
  2. Does this ordinance apply to beaches?
    • Yes, this ordinance applies to beach areas and property under the control of a Town/Municipality. Property owned, leased, or maintained by the State of North Carolina, does not apply.
  3. Does this ordinance include all forms of tobacco, including dip?                   
    • No, smokeless dip, snuff, etc. is not defined and not addressed in this ordinance. The new ordinance addresses vaping and traditional cigarette smoking to protect residents from unwanted inhalation of second hand smoke and e-cigarette vapors.
  4. Does this apply to my personal property? 
    • No, this ordinance does not apply to a personal residence, personal vehicles or private property.
  5. How do I submit a complaint?

 

Health: 1650 Greenfield Street • Wilmington, NC 28401 • Phone 910-798-3500 • Fax 910-798-7834 • Human Services Fax 910-798-7824
Environmental Health: 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 140 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-6667 • Fax 910-798-7815
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