Monongalia County Prepares for Smoking Ban to Take Effect - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Monongalia County Prepares for Smoking Ban to Take Effect

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MORGANTOWN -

A smoking ban will go into effect in Monongalia County on Friday, March 9, after a unanimous vote by the Board of Health and months of conversation.

We reached out to our Facebook fans to hear feedback and spoke to a local bar manager to find out how they plan to adapt.

Our viewers have a lot to say about the smoking ban and have strong convictions for and against.

Some feel it's a violation of their rights and others are anticipating clean air.

Like it or not, come Friday, smoking in enclosed public places will be a thing of the past.

"We are doing it Friday," said Doug Moore, general manager of Kegler's Sports Bar and Lounge. "As of Friday, March 9, we're starting it."

The Monongalia County Board of Health unanimously passed the smoking ban in January, but only now will require smokers to light up outside.

"It affects all public places, enclosed public places in Mon County. It also affects all enclosed places of employment, and that includes bars, restaurants and the works," explained Jim Strosnider.

The ban started with only businesses in the city of Morgantown.

Establishments like Kegler's felt this was unfair to business inside city limits, especially one like Kegler's which sits on the outer ends of the city limits.

"We wanted a level playing field for everybody," Moore explained. "So, that's when they went back to the county and realized some of the surrounding counties have done it so it might not affect us as much. But it's all from a business stand point, and to keep our customers happy. If you're a smoker, and your favorite place to go is non-smoking, but a half mile down the road you can smoke, you're going to change."

"It's been legally tested in other areas," Strosnider added. "It's consistent across the board, across the county. So, it's an even playing field for everyone."

I ran a Facebook poll asking how viewers felt about the ban and found that most are excited for the change.

26 said "Happy. Hate being around smoke."

11 said "Angry. Why should I have to go outside?"

6 said "Indifferent."

General Manager Doug Moore is hoping clientele can adapt and would like to see more people come because they are smoke free.

"Everybody knows it's coming, so you have to adapt. Some of our regulars they're looking at it as a positive," Moore said. "They're saying, ‘Well, I was thinking about quitting smoking anyway, or cutting down.' Well this is a way to do it. Now they have got to walk down the stairs and out the door to smoke. So, the people who are smokers are still going to smoke, they just have to put a little more effort into it."

To learn more about the Clean Indoor Air Regulation, visit www.monchd.org/uploads/2/7/6/1/2761941/cia_regulation_jan_2012.doc.

For more information on the Monongalia County Health Department, visit http://www.monchd.org.