Board of Health in Brooke County unanimously passed on Monday night a smoking ban and thus the county will be the latest to adopt such a law in West Virginia.
In 2009 there were implemented clean-air regulations and now they are being updated. The new law prohibits smoking indoors in such public places as restaurants, bars and video gambling establishments. Besides this, it bans smoking outdoors at festivals and fairs.
According to Board member Karen McClain, the main role in adoptation of this law played the fact that Brooke County occupies the last place in the state in the category of healthy environments.
The Board of Health does not have much power to regulate health issues. Brooke is a small County but it has a lot of eating places, bars and gambling halls. All the Board could do was to deal with secondhand smoke in these places.
When there were adopted staewide anti-smoking laws, this raised negative reaction from people. However, Brooke County officials encountered not much opposition. they rceived only 4 negative comments compared to 10 positive. On Monday meeting no one came to share their negative opinion on the subject.
The smoking ban comes into action from July 1, 2015. Officials from Health department are going to work with the community to prepare them for the change.
McClain told that The Brooke County Health Department will be educating businesses in order to inform them about their responsability. With the new law Brooke County would join nearby Hancock County, which already implemented such a law.
Previously, Berkeley County passed smoking restrictions which come into effect in the next year.