Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Fairfield studies citywide smoke ban

Joins Cincinnati in considering citywide measure

By Matt Leingang
Enquirer staff writer

FAIRFIELD - Fairfield City Council will study the need to ban smoking in all businesses, making it the second municipality in Greater Cincinnati to tackle the issue.

"There's been a push around the country to create smoke-free working environments, and we're going to take a look at it," said Council member Mark Scharringhausen.

Cincinnati has a 30-member advisory panel studying a workplace smoking ban.

Fairfield may approach the issue in the same way, involving testimony from the local chamber of commerce and the Butler County Health Department, Scharringhausen said.

"I don't expect this to be a long, drawn-out process, but it's something we could deal with between now and the end of year," said Scharringhausen, who favors a smoking ban for most businesses, including family restaurants, but not for bars or restaurants that have liquor licenses.

Scharringhausen said he believes there's enough opportunity for employees and customers to go elsewhere if they don't like working in smoke-filled bars or restaurants.

But smoking-ban advocates in Cincinnati argue that exposure to secondhand smoke shouldn't be a condition of employment.

Scharringhausen said a Fairfield resident approached City Council about a smoking ban in April, but other issues kept it from consideration until now.


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