Campbell County school trustees have unanimously approved a resolution to make public and private indoor spaces smoke-free.
Campbell County’s Substance Abuse Advisory Council sought the trustees’ support in a July meeting. On Tuesday night, the trustees approved a resolution sought by the council on a vote of 6-0. One trustee, Susan Shippy, was absent.
“We were very happy that they proceeded with the resolution and that there was no dissent,” said Spring Wilkins, one of the three advisory council members who attended the meeting. All three stood up and applauded the trustees after the vote.
Wilkins said the move from the school trustees and the earlier approval of the county public health board were important to the non-smoking movement.
“It was a big deal,” she added.
The resolution calls for a city ordinance to prohibit smoke in all indoor public places and businesses, including restaurants and bars.
Trustees approved the resolution and a letter of support written by chairman David Fall.
Fall’s letter stated that “protecting the health and welfare of our school-age children and the community is of paramount concern” for trustees.
Fall noted that the school district banned all tobacco products from schools, buses and any school-related activities on March 1, 2004.
While the board supported non-smoking buildings and events in public places, Fall’s letter also noted that it isn’t within trustees’ authority to “suggest that the city or any other entity acquiesce to the board’s stance.”
The letter added, “The board, in addition, respects the autonomy of other boards and governing organizations and in no way wishes to usurp power from or compel others to adopt the same perspective.
“We would definitely support businesses who choose to ban smoking and smokeless products in the interest of their customers as this promotes a healthier community climate and supports the notion that tobacco products are harmful and cause health concerns.”
Wilkins said the advisory council hopes to make a presentation to the Campbell County Memorial Hospital trustees. The council has requested it be included on the hospital agenda, but that hasn’t yet been scheduled.
In the meantime, she said, the group is watching the City Council elections with great interest.
“We’ve got tentative support and staunch opposition as well,” she said of those vying for election in November. So the outcome of that election will become part of the council’s strategy.