CAVE JUNCTION, Ore. — Back in February, the City of Cave Junction passed a new ordinance expanding prohibitions on smoking and vaping within the city limits. On August 5, the signage goes up.
“All across Oregon, communities are mobilizing to become tobacco-free. Congratulations to Cave Junction in Josephine County for their new smoke-free parks and downtown,” said Heather Ackerman, Josephine County Tobacco Prevention Coordinator.
Ordinance #569 expands upon the Indoor Clean Air Act to prohibit smoking or vaping within 20 feet of any business downtown. Under state law, that restriction only prohibits smoking or vaping within 10 feet of an entrance.
The ordinance also bans smoking or vaping in city parks entirely.
The City will be putting up signs regarding the ordinance on August 5, with help from the Focus Teen Council and other teen volunteers of Josephine County.
According to Ackerman, $56.9 million was spent on medical costs and $45.6 million on "productivity loss" from tobacco-related health concerns in Josephine County during 2014. There were 14,700 adults in the county that year who acknowledged regularly smoking cigarettes. 5,580 residents had a serious illness caused by tobacco, and 286 tobacco-related deaths occurred.
The City of Klamath Falls approved a similar ordinance banning smoking in city parks this May, while Grants Pass, Medford and Ashland have had such restrictions for over a decade.