Standing-Room-Only Crowd Debates Proposed Smoking Ban

By: Dave Benton Email
By: Dave Benton Email

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- It was standing room only Monday night at a public meeting to discuss a possible smoking ban throughout Cabell County.

The Cabell-Huntington Health Department had its first public meeting to hear concerns on both sides. The majority of people who showed up said they should have the right to smoke.

Many who spoke are bar owners who fear the proposed ban would kill their business. Some said, however, that smoking bans have had little impact in other parts of the country.

Board members did not comment, but they were addressed by many people who stood behind the microphone.

"You are not elected officials, yet you stand as jury and judge," City Councilwoman Teresa Loudermilk said.

Dr. Harry Tweel, director of the Cabell-Huntington Health Department, said, "It is a board appointed by elected officials and under state code they can make regulations."

There were questions about how the ban would be enforced, but Tweel said health commissioners will investigate all complaints and conduct inspections.

The proposal will be discussed and possibly voted on by the board on Jan. 27.

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