MOUNT VERNON — The Knox County Board of Health Wednesday voted unanimously to express its support for raising the minimum age for purchasing “tobacco and nicotine delivery products” to 21.
The 8-0 on the resolution came after Dr. Amanda Rogers expressed some reservations because a person is considered an adult at 18, can make binding decisions and can serve in the military with its attended risks.
Others expressed similar reservations, but in the end they agreed with Kelly Bailey, who noted that adults can’t purchase alcohol until they are 21 and added that “delaying risky health choices is worth it.”
President Pro Tem Ron Moder noted that the vote has no legal effect, but is an expression of support for the idea.
In other action Wednesday, the board:
•Approved the application for a sewage treatment system variance for 7629 Dunham Road, Liberty Township. Weather has prevented the installation of a leech bed and this will allow them to continue to use a septic system on the site.
•Approved the hiring of Paul Hart Ruthenbeck, LCDC III, as a licensed clinical dependency counselor effective Dec. 18.
•Approved a contract with Genua Consulting for consulting services to assist the Health Center with operations, mentorship and on-site assistance at a cost of $200 per hour effective Oct. 18 of this year through Oct. 25, 2019, with a maximum outlay of $6,000. This is a continuation of an existing contract.
•Approved the Employee Performance Assessment tool, effective Jan. 1, 2019.
•Approved the purchase of office equipment for $18,820 using Substance Use Disorder grant funds.
•Approve the Health Benefit Plan participation agreement with the Knox County Commissioner for fiscal year 2019.
•Were informed that the health commissioner had renewed the memo of understanding with Knox Area Transit for transportation, to be renewed biennially, and renewed the contract with The Freedom Center for a licensed professional clinical counselor, to be renewed biennially.
The board also learned that the pertussis outbreak seems to have passed, with no new cases reported. There have also been no new flu cases reported.
The department continues to promote the use of the hepatitis A vaccine, as Ohio is the second leading state in type A cases, and there have been two case of possible positive tuberculosis tests.