A smoking ban in West Virginia’s smallest and northernmost county took a step forward on Tuesday as the county’s board of health unanimously approved the draft of the Hancock County Clean Air Regulation of 2014 that would ban smoking in gaming facilities, private clubs, bars, and other public places including tobacco stores.

With the vote in favor of the draft, a 30-day public comment period begins and runs until August 11. The next opportunity for the ordinance to be adopted will be at the board’s August 26 meeting.

Columbus CEO reports that prior to the board’s vote, two people spoke in favor of it while six spoke in opposition. The majority of opposition centered around the potential to impact should the draft be implemented, which the report says would prevent smoking in “all restaurants, bars, gaming facilities, private clubs, hotels, motels, restaurants, bingo operations, fire department facilities, retail stores, tobacco businesses, concert venues, sports arenas, bowling lanes and other enclosed public places.”

Additionally, it would ban smoking in “public parks, including pavilions, playgrounds, fairs, festivals, outdoor service lines, outdoor serving areas of restaurants and other outdoor public places.” Any designated smoking area would have to be at least 20 feet from an entrance of ventilation system, and signage would have to be posted indicating that a particular location does not allow smoking. Private residences would not be affected.

Hancock County is home to just over 30,000 residents.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.