It is now officially illegal to use any tobacco or e-device product on any property owned or leased by Oneida County.

The local law, which went into effect on January 1st, 2018, is punishable by up to a $1,000 fine. That includes any product including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco or any other product with any trace of tobacco whatsoever.

The law was voted on and unanimously approved by the Oneida County Board of Legislators in November 2016. Not only are community members and county employees prohibited from smoking in or on county property, but the restriction also includes county-owned vehicles or privately-owned vehicles being used for county business.

Andrew Derminio, WIBX
Andrew Derminio, WIBX

Since the passage of this law, the Oneida County Health Department has been working diligently to offer education for employees and the public to make them aware of the ban and its consequences.

"Our goal here is not to arrest people for smoking a cigarette. Our goal here is to when we see people in violation of this, hand them a brochure to stress the educational component," said Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol. He also said that his deputies will of course use decorum and patience as they encounter offenders who may not be completely aware of the new law.

The properties included in this law include the County Office Building, Oneida County Jail, Union Station and others. A first offense may warrant a $200 fine, but repeat offenders could face a fine of up to $1,000.

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