Board of Health

GREEN VALLEY — The Mercer County Board of Health met Wednesday and decided to delay public hearings on changes to the Mercer County Health Department’s Clean Indoor Air Regulation until next year.

MCHD Administrator Susan Kadar said, “The purpose of the regulation is that we’re trying to keep second-hand smoke away from people.”

Among the changes, she said, was some language in Section 1003 which states that smoking is banned in, “All areas available to and customarily used by the general public in all businesses and non-profit entities patronized by the public, including but not limited to, attorney’s offices and other offices, banks, laundromats, elevators, waiting rooms restrooms, hallways, lobbies and any other common-use areas.”

Other additions include no smoking in public areas of community centers and all rooming houses and bed and breakfasts.

Smoking is prohibited in all fire department facilities and all emergency medical service facilities, with the exception of vehicle storage areas/bays.

Kadar said, “The regulation applies to all outdoor places in the county where people congregate closely in order to help people with breathing problems, except in smoking areas 20 feet or more outside any entrance, exit or ventilation areas of any buildings or enclosed areas where smoking is prohibited”

Smoking is not regulated in private residences, including apartments of housing units, except when used as a childcare facility, adult or foster care or other similar social care; bingo halls as set out by State Code; private clubs, free standing bars and free standing video lotteries; retail tobacco stores and vape stores which do not possess food service permits and fraternal organizations who have IRS status 501c8, 501c10 or 501c19,unless it is declared at any point to be a non-smoking facility.

“Basically, we left the bingo halls, LVLs and private clubs alone,” she said.

The board decided by acclimation to delay scheduling a public hearing until the January 8 MCBOH meeting.

Contact Jeff Harvey at delimartman@yahoo.com.

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