During the January 10, 2017 Board of Health meeting a Position Statement was introduced concerning clean indoor air regulations, or no smoking rules, in West Virginia.

With recent events in neighboring counties pertaining to Board of Health no smoking rules, the Board saw it necessary to issue a position statement on the county’s current regulation and future plans.

It is the goal of the Wheeling-Ohio County Board of Health and the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department that Wheeling and Ohio County become 100% smoke-free.

This has not yet occurred due to unique issues associated with the local casino which also necessitated exemptions for freestanding video lottery rooms. The Wheeling-Ohio County Board of Health will be revisiting these exemptions during this calendar year and consider removing them.

Therefore it is our recommendation that no other West Virginia County Board of Health consider our present regulations, containing these current exemptions, as a model for use in their jurisdiction.

The fact remains that secondhand tobacco smoke exposure is responsible for significant health problems to individuals. We urge all Boards of Health to achieve and maintain our goal of being 100% smoke free.