Smoking and vaping limits have unclear impact in New Hanover County

It’s been more than six months since a new rule made smoking and vaping illegal in some public and county-owned spaces in New Hanover County.

The rule, which took effect on Feb. 1, aimed to limit people’s exposure to second hand smoke. An existing state law from 2010 already prohibited smoking inside bars and restaurants, but the new rule extends these limitations to vaping. The new rule also extended smoking and vaping restrictions to more public spaces and county and city-owned properties.

But after months of being on the books, has the rule actually played a role in limiting exposure to second-hand smoke from cigarettes and vapes? It’s a little too early to tell, according to David Howard, New Hanover County’s Public Health Director.

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