The Hancock County CIA Regulation, passed in 1999, was a good beginning to preventing secondhand smoke exposure. However, significant exemptions in the regulations mean that Hancock County citizens and workers are still being exposed to the deadly effects of second-hand smoke in local bars, hotels/motels guest rooms, conference or meeting rooms, private office work space and gaming and entertainment establishments.
The past 10 plus years of research provide evidence that comprehensive smoke-free laws and regulations significantly improve public health without negative economic impact on the hospitality industries. In addition to protecting nonsmokers from exposure to secondhand smoke, research has shown these comprehensive policies encourage adult smokers to quit, increase perception of risk from smoking and reduce youth smoking prevalence, initiation and uptake.
I would like to thank the Hancock County Board of Health for all of the work that has been done to date to prevent exposure to secondhand smoke. I strongly encourage local citizens, businesses and organization to support the Board of Health in its efforts to update and expand current CIA Regulations.