ORANGE COUNTY, NC (April 6, 2016) – In January 2016, the Orange County Board of Health reviewed the emerging evidence on the risks of secondhand e-cigarette aerosol exposure and voted to develop a proposed rule to address the public health risk associated with it.

The proposed Orange County Board of Health rule would prohibit e-cigarette use in the enclosed areas of restaurants and bars in Orange County including the towns of Chapel Hill, Hillsborough, Carrboro, and the parts of Mebane and other communities that are located within the County limits.

Click here to read the draft rule in its entirety. Click here to review the Frequently Asked Questions document.

Public Input Sought The Board of Health is actively seeking public input on the proposed rule. They have provided five ways for people to share comments, concerns, or support.

April 6 – April 24, 2016
• Online Survey - - Click here to take the online survey
• Telephone Message Line – (919) 245-2480
• Email - Click here to send your comments via email
• U.S. Mail - Must be received by April 24, 2016 - Send mail to: Orange County Health Department Attn: Proposed E-Cig Rule 300 West Tryon Street Hillsborough, NC 27278

April 27, 2016 • Public Hearing - Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at 7:00 PM Orange County Health Department 300 West Tryon Street Hillsborough, NC 27278

After the public hearing on April 27, 2016, the Board of Health will discuss and vote on the proposed rule.

Background Electronic Cigarettes Electronic cigarettes, also called e-cigarettes, vaporizers, and hookah pens, are electronic devices that produce a smoke-like aerosol (commonly referred to as vapor). This aerosol typically contains nicotine, propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin, chemical flavorings, and may have additional contaminants. E-cigarettes vary widely in terms of product design and manufacturing.

Use Trends E-cigarettes have become a popular alternative to combustible cigarettes among adults who smoke. Surveillance data suggest that among adults, approximately 15% of current smokers and 22% of recent former smokers currently use e-cigarettes (CDC NCHS, 2015). However, a concerning trend has emerged among youth in Orange County. Local data show that 37% of high school students have ever used an e-cigarette and 18% used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days (YRBS, 2015). Although use of combustible cigarettes and overall tobacco use have been dropping for many years, overall tobacco use and corresponding nicotine addiction began to increase with the introduction of e-cigarettes and other vapor products. 

Health Risks An emerging body of research on e-cigarettes suggests that emitted aerosol may contain potentially harmful chemicals in addition to nicotine. Although there are likely fewer toxins in e-cigarette aerosol than in smoke from lit tobacco products (Goniewicz et al., 2013), the aerosol may be harmful, especially for more vulnerable populations.

For additional research and data:
• CDC Letter of Evidence on Electronic Nicotine Devices -
• North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services - Electronic Cigarettes Fact Sheet
• Synopsis of Electronic Nicotine Devices Information from 2012 and 2014 Surgeon General's Reports \\kingcharles\Depts_AH\Health\HEALTH PROMOTION EDUCATION SERVICES\Tobacco\E-cigarettes\OC Policy\OCHD Fact Sheet\Research\Synopsis of ENDS information from 2014 Surgeon General's Reports.pdf
• Electronic Nicotine Device Systems: Key Facts CDC Office of Smoking and Health
• Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Warns of Health Risks Posed by E-Cigarettes • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. (2015). National Health Interview Survey Data Brief No. 217. Available at: Accessed March 28, 2016.
• Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) – Preliminary Data. (2015). Phone communication with Scarlett Steinert, Chapel-Hill Carrboro City Schools, on February 23, 2016.