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Coalition group fighting against proposed smoking ban in Hancock County

Updated: Thursday, April 17 2014, 05:49 PM EDT

wtov9.com
HANCOCK COUNTY, W.Va. - A coalition group has launched a website to fight against a proposed smoking ban in Hancock County.
The group's goal is to get enough businesses in Hancock County to join them in an effort to prevent this ban from being instituted.
After all, empty seats are not what workers at places like the Oasis Lounge in Weirton want to see.
"We have been told by numerous customers over the past few months that they would not be coming in any longer," Oasis bartender Diana Decolla said. "And I do feel that this is kind of against your rights."
That's why the owner of the Oasis has joined with the  group fighting the ban. They believe the smoking ban will cause more harm than good, like a  loss of customers and jobs.
"As a smoker, I feel that it's my right to be able to go into the bar and smoke," smoker Leia Margerum said. "I do understand the health department wants a certain way of life to be, but I also feel like the bars in West Virginia get a lot of business from Ohio and Pennsylvania because you can't smoke in those bars, so that helps us here in Weirton."
The group launched an online petition for Hancock County businesses to join, but the local tobacco prevention group does not agree with it.
"I think that it's wrong that a whole group of people have decided that their bottom line in profit is more important than the health of our community," said Mary Ball of the prevention group.
Despite the efforts of the anti-smoking ban group, the Hancock County Health Department will continue to fight against smoking in bars, restaurants and casinos.
"Our stance with the health department has never changed; we're here to promote public health and to move forward," the health department's Jackie Huff said.
It's unclear where the progress of this proposed ban is, but what we do know is that this coalition group will not stop fighting to prevent this ban.


Coalition group fighting against proposed smoking ban in Hancock County


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