Northern Ky. Counties Discuss Smoking Ban

COVINGTON, KY -- The attempt by Northern Kentucky county governments to regulate smoking in public places is one of the most politically divisive and far-reaching policy issues that local governments have tackled in years, reports the Cincinnati Equirer in its Sunday edition on-line at NKY.COM.

County and city officials, business owners and public health advocates are preparing to do battle over the proposed ordinances that would ban smoking - to at least some degree - in bars, restaurants, bowling alleys and workplaces, reports the Enquirer's Website.

"The discussion has to start with, 'Is this the right thing to do?' " said Campbell County Commissioner Ken Rechtin, who said he favors only a partial ban that would allow smoking in bars and some restaurants.

"Everybody is interested in better health," Rechtin said. "But the economic health (of the region) is important as well."

The issue has the makings of past political and policy battles in Northern Kentucky over public transit, storm water regulation, sexually oriented businesses and road funding, the newspaper reports.

A row started in early June when the region's three county judge-executives - Steve Pendery of Campbell County, Gary Moore of Boone County and Ralph Drees of Kenton County - circulated a proposed smoking ban ordinance among fellow fiscal court members. They and their staffs have been talking for months about regulating smoking, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer on its Website, NKY.COM.

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