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.