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.


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  • Carol coburn

    Being a business owner of two establishments (both bars with video lottery) I have concerns about this smoking ban. First, they did this in ohio and now part of my business comes from ohio because they can smoke in my bars. Second, I thought we lived in a democracy. This all sounds like communism to me. I pay my taxes, I pay my bills, I pay my license, I pay all the bs the state says I have to pay but I can't say if I want my business smoking or non smoking? What is wrong with this picture? People are adults. They can make their own minds up. I know I don't need anyone making my choices for me. Slowly they are taking our rights away. Smoking is not illegal. So how can they say if you own a business that you can't let people smoke? Doesn't this fall under freedom of choice? By the way, I don't smoke. I just know my business.

  • Brian

    Smoking bans? Really? There are more dangerous things in this world that should be examined and put up for debate. How about idle free zones? Nothing like a dozen cars idling away in the no parking zone out front of local Wal Mart to unload fat people. I see it as a traffic safety risk, fire department violation, and opportunity for smash and grab thieves. Not to mention untold gallons of exhaust flooding the entry way and all those who must pass through. Yet, no entity has shown more interest in enforcing these regs more than paint and signs. Wonder if the same can be expected for smoking bans.

  • BigBoy

    Hancock co has homes with clay tiles for septic tanks. They drain to creeks that run to the river I have lived in the same place for over 30 years. In the summer you cannot sit outside because of the smell.

  • wvian

    Board of Health are not elected officials, how can they pass and force laws on people? Something needs to be changed.

    • flossrancher

      Elected officials don't make any regulations. Speed limits, product safety, food purity, building codes, banking insurance, chemical storage, restaurant cleanliness, airline safety, hazardous waste disposal, and on and on. Safety and health regulations are made by professionals, not by elected politicians. I have no opinion on this proposed ban because I don't live there, but I don't like to see poor logic brought into any discussion.

    • ViennaGuy

      Based on the article, it appears that the proposal will be placed on the ballot for a vote.