Restaurant defies smoking regulation in Jackson Co.

By Scott Finn
sfinn@wvpubcast.org
Last year the U.S. Surgeon General issued a new report on the dangers of secondhand smoke. It said that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and that the only way to protect non-smokers was to ban all smoking indoors.

That report has helped inspire new, stronger smoking bans across the country. Sixteen West Virginia counties, including Jackson County, have banned smoking in all workplaces. But there’s been a backlash, too. M&R Restaurant in Ripley has defied the smoking regulation. The Jackson County Health Department filed a complaint to force the restaurant’s owners to comply with the regulation.

However, a judge dismissed the complaint yesterday because the county prosecutor’s office didn’t pay a required filing fee with the complaint. The fight is far from over for M&R and its customers. The health department expects to file another complaint. Reporter Scott Finn has a profile of the business at the center of the controversy.

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