INDEPENDENCE, Ky. (AP) - Kenton County officials have approved a
compromise smoking ban ordinance.
After a vote to institute a comprehensive indoor smoking ban
failed, the panel approved a milder version. It exempts bars that
prohibit patrons under 18, have no employees under 18 and have
enclosed areas for smoking with separate ventilation and entrances.
The smoking ban initially was to have been Northern
Kentucky-wide, but Boone County Fiscal Court withdrew in July.
The Kentucky Enquirer reports Campbell County passed the ban,
but the majority of the incoming fiscal court has said it will
overturn the measure. The compromise was originally prepared by
Campbell Judge-executive Steve Pendery but never came up for a vote
in that county.
The legislation is scheduled to take effect April 15 in both
Outgoing Kenton County Commissioner Dan Humpert said it has been
a tough issue.
"People are definitely aware of the public health issues
regarding smoking," Humpert said. "They are definitely aware of
the secondhand smoke issues. ... People are also aware that smoking
is still legal and that we have liberty and choice to still smoke
and that we should be able to smoke."
The amended ordinance also calls for a prominently posted
"smoking permitted" sign at every entrance.
Bob Clements, president of the Northern Kentucky chapter of the
American Heart Association, said the fight to make Boone, Kenton
and Campbell counties smoke-free will continue.
"It may take a couple more years, but we have time and patience
on our side," he said, noting that 29 Kentucky communities have
passed some kind of ban.
Ken Moellman Jr. of Northern Kentucky Choice, a group that
opposes the ban, said the original proposal was too extreme.
"I think the amended ordinance is better than what had been
originally proposed," he said.
Information from: The Kentucky Enquirer, http://www.nky.com
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)