Bullitt County Health Department Approves Smoking Ban Appeal

by Devin Katayama on September 27, 2011

The Bullitt County Board of Health is not giving up its struggle to enact a county-wide smoking ban and has decided to appeal a court decision restricting its power to create and enforce new regulations.

Bullitt County Circuit Court Judge Rodney Burress ruled earlier this month that the health department could not choose where people smoke and wrote in his decision any regulations must be introduced by the Cabinet for Family and Health Services.

But the county health department isn’t concerned with smoker’s health, said Executive Director Swannie Jett. The main concern is the health of those around smokers, he said. The health department heard public comment from both sides before making its decision to appeal in a closed-door session Monday night, he said.

“There was a child that spoke too. And she said this (ban) is good to protect the kids and we ought to be concerned about their future and Bullitt County and about future generations,” Jett said.

A local group opposed to a ban, called Bullitt County Choice, spoke in opposition. The group filed suit against the board of health alongside several Bullitt County cities. It has requested the health department pay $25,000 for legal fees and damages, he said.

Jett said despite the opposition the board voted 4-2 in favor of an appeal, which is expected to be filed in the next few days.

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