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Smoking law changes should be studied

Hancock County officials have said they will look into a proposal to make adjustments to the county’s Clean Air Act, which prohits smoking in all public places.

The proposal was brought forward earlier this month by Ted Arneault, the former CEO of MTR Gaming Group, who has noted some of the impact the smoking ban has had on LVL gaming locations and at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort.

Arneault has cited a loss of jobs and a decrease in video lottery revenue coming to the county as part of his argument.

Similar issues have been cited in Brooke County where a lawsuit has been filed against that county’s commission and health board.

From the beginning, we encouraged the possibility of some sort of compromise in the local regulations. Blanket bans on all businesses are difficult to manage.

We understand the well-meaning intentions of our local health boards, and we highly encourage any opportunity to promote a healthier lifestyle for our residents. At the same time, when a law has a negative impact on our communities, adjustments should be made.

We encourage our local officials, both on the health boards and the county commissions, to look closely at the effects of these laws and their potential for the future of our communities.

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