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Council bans tobacco use in city vehicles

Staff writer

Marion City Council voted to prohibit smoking or chewing tobacco in city vehicles at its meeting Monday.

City administrator Roger Holter said OSHA guidelines prohibit smoking in company vehicles because of risk associated with secondhand smoke.

“(City clerk) Tiffany (Jeffrey) and I just think it’s appropriate,” Holter said of the policy.

Holter said most city employees were in support of the decision. Though those who smoke in vehicles will require “a major lifestyle change.”

County and state policies prohibit smoking in government vehicles, according to KDOT engineer Joe Palic and county clerk Tina Spencer.

Rick Burcky, who would often smoke while driving the city’s refuse truck before the policy was introduced to employees Friday, said he has “no choice but to accept it.

“We get breaks, and I can smoke on breaks,” he said. “I understand nonsmokers don’t want smokers around them. It doesn’t bother me.”

Electronic cigarettes would be allowed in vehicles, Holter said, as the vapor they emit is not known to be harmful. While not all employees will adjust easily, the policy isn’t expected to be an issue of discord for city employees.

“Of course there’s going to be grousing and grumbling, but it’s something you’ve got to live with,” Burcky said.

Last modified Aug. 20, 2015

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