Smoking ban awaits county approval
Published: Sunday, January 8, 2012
Updated: Sunday, January 8, 2012 22:01
The City of Morgantown will adopt a ban regulating smoking within enclosed public spaces pending the adoption of an ordinance by the Monongalia County Board of Health.
The BOH will vote today to determine the parameters of a county-wide ordinance prohibiting smoking in all enclosed public spaces within the county.
The Monongalia County Clean Indoor Air Regulation will prohibit smoking in most enclosed public spaces, including all means of public transit, retail stores, tobacco businesses, restaurants, private clubs, video lottery parlors, bars, public assembly areas, all portions of public health facilities and enclosed shopping malls.
City Manager Terrence Moore said the current city-wide smoking ban that went into effect on Jan. 1 is not enforceable.
"Administratively, we are not enforcing what went into effect on Jan. 1," Moore said. "On Monday, the Board of Health will convene to consider a final vote on a county-wide Clean Indoor Air Act. The recommendation to city council will be to adopt what the Board of Health adopts at that meeting."
The ordinance will be enforced 60 days after its adoption. If the ordinance is passed January 9 it will become enforceable effective March 9.
The ordinance being considered by the BOH will allow exemptions to the ban for specific establishments. Businesses in which smoking will not be prohibited under the ban will include hookah lounges, private residences not utilized as a child care facility, cigar bars and bingo operations that distribute more than 100 bingo cards or sheets.
"The city and the county will be able to achieve a unified environment in regard to this ordinance," Moore said.
City council will consider the smoking ban during regularly scheduled meetings Jan. 17 and Feb. 7.
"The majority of comments we have received have been in favor of the smoking ban," said Morgantown Mayor Jim Manilla. "I've been a business man, and I personally would not allow smoking in my business, but that's the choice that I would have made. The majority of the constituents I represent want this ban."
The BOH meeting to vote on the Clean Indoor Air Act will take place at 9:30 a.m. in the Monongalia County Health Department training center.