County's proposed Tobacco-Free campus plan moves ahead

Beginning in September, tobacco will not be able to enjoy their habit on properties of Clatsop County government.

Margo Lalich, Clatsop County Public Health Director, presented a proposed law to the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners, which would establish tobacco-free campuses in the county several properties, including the Judge Guy Boyington Building at 857 Commercial Street in Astoria, building services at the district 800 and 820 Exchange St. in Astoria, and public works, building and the store in 1100 and 1196 Olney Street. in Astoria.

Lalich and Health Promotion Specialist Steven Blakesley argue that the cost of implementing a tobacco-free campus on properties was minimal only requires a sign, but this message is a tobacco-free campus project will send a very valuable public health.

“Tobacco is the leading cause of death in the United States,” said Blakesley Commission.

According to him, in an average year in Clatsop County 6409 (22 percent) of adults regularly smoke cigarettes. Passive smoking and tobacco use leads to serious illness in 1525 people and tobacco account for more than one-fifth of all deaths in the country. These deaths are a result of 13 million dollars in lost productivity.

The medical costs of tobacco-related diseases in the country is $ 14 million, $ 10.6 million, of which passes through Medicaid.

Blakesley said that while the sales of cigarettes have decreased over the past 20 years, tobacco is widely used among teenagers. Twenty-four percent of the 11 the class county reported smoking cigarettes (16 percent of the state), while 18 percent reported using smokeless tobacco.

“It’s important that we create policies to prevent the children from the beginning,” he said.

Blakesley said that a number of national and international organizations have made to reduce tobacco use, one of the main priorities for public health.

On August 2, Governor John Kitzhaber signed an order banning tobacco use on public property.

“Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Oregon. Human and financial costs are too high,” Governor Kitzhaber said in a statement. “By promoting a healthy environment for public employees, customers and visitors, we can create an environment that reduces tobacco consumption and protect health.”

In the second reading the proposed law will be held August 22 meeting of the commission districts. If it is adopted tobacco-free campus policy will come into force in September.

Lalich said the health department hopes to provide the Commission with the amendment to Resolution 2013, which would extend its application to other properties of the district.

Clatsop County Sheriff Tom Bergin commissioners gave his report on the state division of probation and the probationary period in the year after the commission voted to transfer duties of the head of the district in the sheriff’s department.

Bergin, head of the Lieutenant Kristen Hanthorn and two parole and probation staff reported a positive effect on the changes.

“I really believe that we have professional staff there and doing well,” said Bergin. “We can now work together better.”

In addition to coordinating the efforts of law enforcement and probation officers, parole officers have received training, equipment, and to send help to improve their safety, making it home.

“I think we have helped to improve their safety 10 times,” said Bergin.

A parole officer said that before they had access to the shipment, he called his wife to check in before and after he made a home visit.

Since the change, Bergin said, parole and probation has increased the number of home visits, an increase in revenue collection and reimbursement payments, reducing management and some of the costs, improve teamwork, and instituted a more flexible schedule to accommodate work schedules parolees.

“The only thing we really work for this funding from the state in 2013,” said Bergin. He said that if funding becomes too much, then he will have to seek parole and probation in the state.

In other Clatsop County Board of Commissioners action:

The Board approved the reclassification of two 4-H and the position of extension services. Former administrator of the Secretary Office Specialist classified as a specialist and former office was reclassified as an office manager.

The Board authorized the Chairman to sign the letter, Peter Huhtala requesting a grant from the Department of land and coastal zone management program.