(April 19, 2013) Senior citizens in Worcester County are being told to butt out, literally.
The Worcester County Commissioners voted Tuesday to add property owned or used by the County Commission on Aging to its list of smoke-free sites.
Rob Hart, the commissioner’s executive director, said he wanted the policy to be in effect July 1 at the four buildings used for seniors. The request included the grounds.
Senior centers in Ocean City, Berlin, Snow Hill and Pocomoke will be smoke-free. The policy applies not only to the senior citizens, but also to staff, visitors and others who might be on the property.
Hart made his request because of the commissioners’ Jan. 2 vote to institute a no-smoking policy at its Health Department offices and at its parks.
The policy prohibits not only smoking cigarettes and pipes, but the use of any form of tobacco such as snuff and spit tobacco, in a restroom or at any spectator or concession area and playground at any county facility. The use of tobacco is also prohibited within 100 yards of an organized activity at a county facility.
The county Health Department offices and parks facilities became tobacco-free Feb. 1.
Starting May 1, the entire Heathway Drive area, which includes a health department office, Atlantic General Hospital, the Barrett Medical Building and the Berlin Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, will be smoke-free. Tracey Hall, chairwoman of the Wellness Committee at Atlantic General Hospital, made that announcement during the county’s fourth annual public health conference at the Clarion Fontainebleau in Ocean City on April