Clark County's regulation bans smoking in "all enclosed public places within Clark County," including businesses, restaurants, bars, galleries, libraries and museums.
Smoking will be prohibited in sports arenas, health care facilities and doctors' offices, day cares and all common areas, such as lobbies, hallways and elevators. The regulation will also ban smoking in private clubs when used for public functions.
Smoking will still be allowed in private residences, hotel rooms designated for smoking, retail tobacco stores, private clubs with no employees and outdoor areas at places of employment.
Based on comments at an Oct. 9 public hearing, the Board of Health opted to allow smoking in the outdoor patio areas of bars and restaurants, an activity that was prohibited in earlier versions of the regulation.
The ban will go into effect Jan. 12, 2009.
Robert Baldwin, who voted against the regulation's first reading, was not present at Thursday's meeting. He submitted his concerns to Andreas, which included the ban's effect on outdoor patio areas and the 20-foot distance smokers must maintain from outdoor sports arenas.
"He thought that was maybe a little excessive," Andreas said.
Smoking is already prohibited at George Rogers Clark High School and all of its sports venues for both students and visitors, according to the school's handbook.
Enforcement of the regulation will be up to the Health Department. Members of the Winchester Police Department and Clark County Sheriff's Office may also enforce the ban, according to the regulation.
Business owners will be fined $100 for a first violation, an amount which will escalate to $500 for the fourth and each additional violation per year. Smokers who violate the ban will be fined $50.
The Health Department will organize educational sessions for business owners and provide them with kits to prepare for the ban, Lockard said. A breakfast has already been scheduled for Nov. 19 for Chamber of Commerce members to review their requirements under the regulation.
"We'll be making a major effort here in the rest of November and December to prepare the business community for when this regulation goes into effect," Lockard said.
Including Clark County, eight counties and 13 cities in Kentucky have enacted community-wide smoking bans since 2004, when Lexington-Fayette County approved an ordinance that outlawed smoking in all public buildings, including bars and restaurants.
Nearby Madison County, Woodford County, Danville, Franklin County and Morehead also have bans in place, according to the Kentucky Tobacco Policy Research Program at the University of Kentucky's College of Nursing.
Ironically, two of the women who were instrumental in promoting the smoke-free regulation were absent Thursday.
Health Education Coordinator Kristian Wagner is leaving her post later this month to work at the Kentucky Center for Smoke-Free Policy at the University of Kentucky.
"She really has done an incredible job," Andreas said. "It's going to be a sad loss for our Health Department."
Amy LaCount, tobacco prevention and cessation specialist, has also left the Health Department, moving to North Carolina so her husband could accept a job there.
The Board of Health unanimously approved a resolution recognizing their work for the Health Department.
"I think this is an historic night for Clark County," Lockard said. "It's a sign of how progressive this community is, and again I applaud the Board of Health for their courage to do this."
Contact Katheran Wasson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Board reviews 2008 audit
The Clark County Board of Health also reviewed audits of the Health Department and its taxing district that were conducted in 2008.
Auditors found no instances of noncompliance or deficiencies in Health Department accounts. They suggested the Health Department work to collect outstanding patient bills, continue holding meetings regarding the WIC program, and update the department's internal control manual.
Auditors found no significant deficiencies or weaknesses in the taxing district's financial reporting, and no instances of noncompliance. The taxing district ended the 2008 fiscal year with a balance of $890,264.