Berkeley County to Implement Smoking Ban

- MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - If you're a smoker you will now have to consider smoking somewhere else in Berkeley County. The county has passed what's being called the "Clean Air Regulation of 2014", and bans smoking in all work and public places.

"All restaurants, all bars, any place that basically employs would be considered a smoke free ordinance. Or if they have service to the community," said Berkeley County Health Department Administrator Bill Kearns.

There are currently 26 counties in the state that have adopted comprehensive ordinances for not smoking in work and public places. Berkeley County will now join them.

"All counties in West Virginia have some sort of protection for second-hand smoke, but not all counties have comprehensive policies," Kearns said.

The health department is hoping to bring a positive change to the county with the new policy

"We're hoping that establishments that have previously not had people frequent them because they're non-smokers, and they don't have a desire to go into a smoking establishment, that they'll actually be able to go there now," Kearns added.

However, there is worry from business owners that they may lose some of their customers.

"There is a concern about possible loss of revenue which is why we are doing our best to work with these places to promote them," said Kearns. "We think we have a very good comprehensive policy that's going to benefit everyone in Berkeley County."

The regulation will be effective July 1, 2014. 

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