February 18, 2011 - The Enquirer this weekend reported that new county commissioners Pete Garrett and Brian Painter plan to overturn the ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and other indoor businesses that was approved in December by outgoing commissioners Dave Otto and Mark Hayden during their final meeting as county officials. (Northern Kentucky county passes compromise indoor smoking ban, wkyt.com. 12/22/2010)
In an effort to change the minds of Campbell County officials, the Northern Kentucky Medical Society and St. Elizabeth Healthcare on Monday, February 14th issued a joint statement urging county leaders not to strike down the countywide smoking ban that is to take effect in April 2011. “Given the overwhelming scientific evidence that secondhand smoke is a known cause of disease and premature death in healthy nonsmokers, and given that there are no safe levels of exposure to tobacco smoke according to the United States Surgeon General, the Northern Kentucky Medical Society and St. Elizabeth Healthcare support smoke-free indoor air ordinances to prohibit smoking in public places, including the one passed by the Campbell County Fiscal Court in 2010.
Campbell County officials voted 3-1 to kill the measure, which had been adopted in December and was supposed to go into effect in April. Opponents packed the public hearing, with one of the loudest bursts of applause coming from a man who likened the ban to, wait for it, the policies of Hitler, notes the Cincinnati Enquirer. Proponents had their say, too, including one woman who asked commissioners: “At least 88 people … could die, or will die, in 2011. How does that make you feel?”
References: Doctors: Don’t repeal smoking ban, From Enquirer reporter Mike Rutledge, nky.com, 2/14/2011; County Bucks Trend, Repeals Smoking Ban Did we mention it's in Kentucky? by John Johnson, Newser Staff, 2/17/2011.