Campbell Co. smoking ban may be short lived

smoking NEWPORT, Ky. – The smoking ban adopted last year for Campbell County is under review and could be repealed before it ever takes effect depending on an upcoming vote.

Campbell County commissioners will decide whether to repeal the ban at a meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16 at the fiscal court building in Newport.

The original smoking ban ordinance in Campbell County passed in December 2010. It is set to take effect in April 2011. The bill would ban smoking in areas of employment and public places including bars and restaurants.

The vote on Wednesday will likely turn on how the two new additions to the four-member commission see the ban. Brian Painter and Pete Garrett took office in January after the smoking ban was passed.

Both Painter and Garrett have expressed their opposition to the smoking ban and barring a last-minute change of heart, they’re expected to vote for a repeal of the current ban. A three-vote majority is required to overturn the ordinance.

Still, proponents of the smoking ban aren’t giving up.

“We’re trying extremely hard to convince the commissioners to leave the ban in place,” said Jenny Beene-Skuban, who is currently volunteering on behalf of Smoke-Free Northern Kentucky.

“The purpose of the ban is to protect our own citizens who live and work in Campbell County,” said Beene-Skuban. “They don’t have a choice.”

Opponents argue that a smoking ban would harm Newport bars and restaurants that allow smoking indoors. Studies from similar bans have shown a decrease in sales, citing a possible 20 percent to 30 percent loss by sending their customers outdoors to light up.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare and the Northern Kentucky Medical Society have joined the movement supporting the Campbell County ban. “We have several supporters for our cause,” said Skuban

Even if Wednesday’s vote repeals the ban, Beene-Skuban said the group’s resolve remains strong.

“We’ll have to wait and see,” she said. “We’re not going anywhere.”

On the larger stage of the General Assembly, a statewide smoking ban, House Bill 193 , is still up for consideration. Currently several communities including Louisville and Lexington have smoke-free laws already in place.

Kentucky State Sen. Paul Hornback vows to vote against any statewide smoking ban, and views it as “taking away individual rights.”

“(People) enjoy the fact that they can choose for themselves,” he said.


Similar Posts:

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!