Morgantown Residents Weigh In On Proposed Smoking Ban

On Tuesday night, Morgantown city council passed the first reading of an ordinance that would regulate indoor smoking cigarettes.

Some folks say lawmakers should leave that decision to go smoke-free up to the businesses themselves.

"You're in a real gray area. You could argue either way. But in places of private business, I think it largely depends on the owner of the store. It should be their decision," says Derrik Whitlow.

Some say it's a good idea to force smokers outside to light up, but only in certain situations.

"I think it's good, kind of. I mean, for restaurants because those are kind of family places, but for bars, maybe not," says Alexa Wear.

City officials say that if t his ordinance were to pass, they'll be taking 60 days after passage to implement the plan to make sure everything is fair for all parties that would be affected.

"There will be a transition process to, number one, will enable businesses to prepare, and number two, to enable city administration to work with Monongalia County to see if a balance can be struck respectively," says city manager Terrence Moore.

One person we spoke with says she would support a smoking cigarettes ban because she's a non-smoker, and doesn't want to be exposed to other people's smoke cigarettes when she's out and about.

"I just don't like inhaling other people's smoke. I choose not to smoke," adds Wear.

Moore says with the trends of other cities in the nation starting to go smoke-free, it was just a matter of time for the issue to hit Morgantown.

"The direction to proceed in this regard is consistent with the state of the nation, consistent with the leadership and direction provided by municipalities all over the country, so it was, perhaps, a matter of time in Morgantown," adds Moore.

Council will make a final decision after a second reading on the matter on June 21st.