MOUNDSVILLE - The Marshall County Board of Health is proposing expanding its existing smoking ban to include some outdoor areas and hotel rooms.
Written public comment on the plan is being taken until Jan. 31 and can be mailed to: P.O. Box 429, Moundsville, WV 26041. The board is expected to vote on the matter at 7:30 a.m. Feb. 8 at the health department, 513 Sixth St., Moundsville.
"The board is proposing making some outside venues smoke-free. These would include parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, fairs, festivals, outdoor dining areas, outdoor waiting lines and the like," said Ronda Francis, Marshall County Health Department administrator. "They are also proposing smoke-free hotel/motel rooms. In addition, this change would include provisions for penalties on individuals smoking in restricted areas."
Photo by Casey Junkins
The Marshall County Board of Health is considering whether to prohibit smoking in parks and other outdoor venues.
The regulation will continue to allow smoking in private residences unless the residence is being used as a child care or adult care facility. Smoking also still is permitted in bars, private clubs, bingo operations, limited video lottery rooms and tobacco stores. But the regulation notes any business has the right to prohibit smoking inside.
"We get many complaints regarding children being exposed to secondhand smoke at ball games, fairs, playgrounds and the like. There have also been reports of children being burned on the face from cigarettes people are carrying. This change would protect children from these dangers," Francis said.
According to a copy of the proposed regulation, which can be found at www.marshallcountyhealthdepartment.com, anyone found guilty of obstructing enforcement of the regulation, a misdemeanor, will be levied a fine between $50 and $500. And those found guilty of violating the law can be fined $200 to $1,000.
"The health department does not receive any monies from monetary penalties. According to state code, we file through the magistrate or circuit court and any penalties levied are decided upon by a magistrate or judge," she said.
Health board members include Chairman Donald Mason, Vice Chairwoman Janet Kendzierski, Robert Riggenbach, Carol Wade and Shirley Byard.
The Wheeling-Ohio County Board of Health last year proposed expanding its smoking ban to outdoor venues and every area inside Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack. After holding various public meetings on the matter, however, members decided there was not enough support at that time and indefinitely tabled the measure.