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Statewide Smoking Ban?

Publication Date: 2/1/2012
  • Author:Nicole Porter
  • Publication:WDTV CBS Channel 5 (Bridgeport, WV)

Smoking bans are popping up in counties all across the state but if some state lawmakers have it their way, there could be a statewide smoking ban in the near future.

Senate Bill 28 is calling for a statewide smoking ban in most public places but there are few exceptions.

This bill is being called the Smoke Free West Virginia Act. Lawmakers behind the bill say there's no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. It calls for a ban in all public places including bars, gaming facilities, health care facilities and restaurants. No one would be allowed to smoke in any enclosed areas. There are exceptions to this bill, such as some retail tobacco stores, private and multi-private rooms in nursing homes where everyone is a smoker and designated smoking rooms in hotels or motels.

"I've never smoked a day in my life and every time you go to a public place, it is, they (smokers) have rights too but we have rights and it just kind of congests you up and if you do your homework on it, secondhand smoke causes you more trouble than smoking," says non-smoker Kenneth Lane.

"I think it's ridiculous. I don't think the government should control anything that we try to do. America is supposed to be free, let it be free. It's that persons choice, if they choose to smoke, let them smoke, that's their choice. You know, don't push your beliefs on someone else," says smoker Amanda Fittro.

If this were to pass, no smoking signs would have to be put up in all of these places and all ashtrays would need to be removed. If you violate it, you could face fines from $250 to $2,500.