Ohio County Smoking Regulations Stand As They Are, Says Ohio Cou - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Ohio County Smoking Regulations Stand As They Are, Says Ohio County Health Board

Posted: Updated:

The Ohio County Board of Health has agonized over expanding its indoor smoking ban for months.

But now they aren't even putting it to a vote.

They say there simply isn't enough support, so the rules will stay as they are.

That leaves some people pleased, while others are deeply disappointed.

"Well, I'm obviously disappointed," noted Dr. William Mercer, Ohio County Health Director. "There have been a lot of people working to get Ohio County up to 100 percent. That didn't happen today. But it doesn't mean it can't happen."

The board did not vote on the matter.

They reportedly talked beforehand, and all board members--including several new members--were apparently all on the same page.

"I spoke to each member, and no one was in favor of making the change at this time," said Dr. John Holloway, board chairman.

It means smoking is still allowed at Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Racetrack on the gaming floor.

It is also still allowed in micro-casinos at various businesses.

"I feel that people ought to be able to smoke wherever they want to smoke, being that they buy them," said Arthur Harvey of Benwood. "They cost enough. So therefore, why not?"

At Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Racetrack, they see it as a victory for people's freedom to choose.

"We're an adult facility," said Kim Florence, president and general manager. "We cater to an environment that enjoys this kind of atmosphere. And again, our focus was just really about maintaining the economic impact that we have on this community."

She said an across-the-board smoking ban would have meant $18 million in lost revenue to the casino.

"I would love to say Wheeling- Ohio County is one hundred percent smoke-free," said Dr. Holloway. "We're not there. But we're close."

"We have some new board members," said Dr. Mercer. "I think this was a huge issue. I think it might take longer to wrap themselves around it. But I like to be optimistic because at some point, in the whole country, all workplaces will be smoke-free including casinos."

Powered by Frankly