WEIRTON, W.Va. — The Hancock County Board of Health is considering changing its clean indoor air regulations. A public forum was held last week to see where residents and businesses stood on the issue.
County Health Administrator Jackie Huff stressed, at this point, moving toward an all-out ban on indoor smoking is a work in progress.
“The document that we’re working from is a 100 percent ban and it includes some outdoor areas,” according to Huff.
Currently county’s current policy, put into place back in 1999, isn’t much of a policy at all. It only bans smoking in some public buildings. A 100 percent ban would end smoking in all public buildings including restaurants, bars and gambling establishments. That’s where the pushback is coming from.
“We had a gaming facility that was there at our meeting expressing their concern and some [Limited Video Lottery establishments] and some of the fraternal orders,” said Huff.
The management at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort near Chester does not want to see a total smoking ban.
Huff said the Board of Health is considering all its options.
“The board is still continuing to review the current working proposal and, at some point, they will determine to put that to a vote once they decide what they want it to state.”
Huff said it’s likely the board will have some sort of proposal to take to the public this year. They’ll also hold a series of public hearings to get reaction from the community.
Currently 22 counties in West Virginia are smoke-free.