Friday, February 8, 2008

Health board plans to have much lighter limits on outdoor smoking

The Woodford County Board of Health decided last night to scale back its proposed smoking ban, largely to meet the objections of restaurant owners, and primarily those in Midway.

Outdoor smoking at businesses will be limited only to within "a reasonable distance," at least 3 feet from any public entrance. That will keep smokers out of doorways but allow continued smoking on restaurant patios. That was a big issue for Midway restaurants such as The Black Tulip, which has a patio with tables at its front entrance.

Midway Mayor Tom Bozarth, who attended the meeting, said afterward, "I think it's good for us, and I'm happy." County Health Director Garland VanZant said the board plans to have first reading of the revised ordinance next month, a public hearing in April and final passage in May, with the ordinance to take effect around July 1.

VanZant said the board also decided to exclude volunteers of non-profit groups from the definition of "employee," a change sought by veterans' organizations, and to ban all smoking in hotels and motels, instead of requiring designated smoking or non-smoking rooms. VanZant said Woodford County has no hotels or motels. One is planned along Interstate 64 at Midway.

For a copy of the draft regulation, click here.

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