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Law | West Virginia Proposal Could Lift Smoking Bans

In the state of West Virginia there are currently 55 counties that have smoking bans in place, most of which were put in place by the health departments.

House Bill 2208 seeks to changes how smoking bans come into place and if passed it would require the County Commissioners to vote on the proposals.

While the proposal has created a debate, the County Commissioners themselves are against it. Which should be too surprising as most politicians rather do nothing to begin with. They argue that the issue should be left up to the health departments or handled at a state level.

Sponsoring the bill are: Delegates Joshua Nelson, R-Boone; Larry Faircloth, R-Berkley; Michael Folk, R-Berkley; Eric L. Householder, R-Berkley; Pat McGeehan, R-Hancock Mark Zatezalo, R-Hancock; House Majority Leader Daryl Cowles, R-Morgan; and William G. Hartman, D-Randolph.

McGeehan, who is the sponsor sponsor of the bill states, “I don’t believe unelected officials should be making law. This bill just transfers that authority from local health boards to county commissioners who are elected by the people, giving voters some recourse, to hold someone accountable.

A meeting will be held on Tuesday to discuss the measure according to the American Cancer Society which leads me to ask the question. If tobacco is considered a special interest group, why should the ACS be dictating meetings and issue requirements for funding?

West Virginia is home to 1.8 million residents over 24,230 square miles and was found in 1863.