UPDATE: Changes Made to Smoking Ban

By: Cathleen Moxley Email
By: Cathleen Moxley Email

UPDATE:

The Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department made some changes to its Clean Indoor Air Act Tuesday night.

Effective Tuesday, Exec. Director Dick Wittberg says the health department changed the "reasonable distance" definition in the act, requiring all smoking rooms to be 15 feet or more outside of any building.

Before, smoking enclosures were required to be 15 feet away from all doors, windows and airways.

Wittberg says they also changed the definition of "enclosed area." It was originally defined as being any area enclosed on all sides from floor to ceiling.

Now, an enclosed area is defined as being any area with a roof or overhead covering of any kind that only has only two walls, like a car port.

For any place that has a smoking area already approved by the department, its owners will have until October 2010 to comply.

But all new approvals must be in line with these new definitions.

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When the law passed to ban smoking in public facilities, many bar and restaurant owners were concerned about how it would impact their business.

Some places have gone to using smoking rooms.

J.P. Henry's has a smoking room that has been approved by the health department because it's far enough away from any entries to the main building, and it has proper ventilation.

The topic of smoking rooms will be discussed at Tuesday night's board meeting at the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department.

The owners of J.P. Henry's say it's working out well for them.

"We have had no problems and have had no change financially, or any problems with this. Actually I have to admit, it's been a good thing. Our building's cleaner," Sabrena Hughes, co-owner of J.P. Henry's, said.

No word yet on whether or not any decisions will be made at the meeting concerning smoking rooms.


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