March 14, 2013

Cape Elizabeth employees barred from using chewing tobacco

By Matt Byrne
Staff Writer

Cape Elizabeth town employees will be prohibited from chewing tobacco while in town buildings and vehicles, thanks to a tweak in employee rules approved this week by the Town Council.

Town Councilors voted unanimously Monday night to alter language in the town's personnel code of conduct to extend a smoke-free workplace policy to all tobacco products.

Town Manager Michael McGovern, who called the practice "a filthy, vile habit," said during the meeting that multiple town employees approached him about barring the practice. He said a representative from every town department approved of the ban.

Chewing tobacco users frequently spit out brown, tobacco-soaked saliva, sometimes into cups or water bottles, an unsightly process that is also cause for health and sanitation concerns, Councilor Jessica Sullivan said.

"I think spitting in general is something to be avoided," Sullivan said.

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