MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Effective July 1, private clubs and bars are barred from allowing smoking – thanks to a decision made at Tuesday afternoon’s Berkeley County Health Department meeting.
While a crowd of about 100 audience members listened, board members talked about the proposed regulation that would have not only banned smoking in bars and clubs, but also unsuccessfully took aim at public places ranging from parks to golf courses.
In the end, board member George Karos was the only vote against the smoking ban for clubs. Voting for the modified proposal were board president Dr. Jerry Fogle along with board members Teresa McCabe, Mary Jane Rinard and Cara Harding.
Right from the start, board members stressed the need to protect public health and move toward making Berkeley County a healthier place to work and live.
“Second-hand smoke is deadly and something we as a board of health need to be concerned with,” McCabe said.
However, board members also made it clear – early in the meeting discussion – that there were parts of the proposal they wanted to revisit for discussion, before voting on it.
“And while I do agree now is the time for a clean indoor air regulation, I also want to have some further discussion about some parts,” McCabe said.
Karos objected to golf courses being part of the regulation, while Rinard said there were several other outdoor spaces she would also agree to take out of it – including public parks.
Most agreed that modification was necessary because enforcement in a number of outdoor places would be difficult, if not impossible, they said.
Thanks to the negotiations, board members agreed to drop several outdoor places, including parking lots and sidewalks of public and private schools, colleges, public parks, including walkways and seating areas of public parks including pavilions, playgrounds, golf courses and other recreational areas…