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Clark to go smoke-free in January

The Clark County Health Department passed a smoking ban Thursday night.

The vote was 6-2 in favor of the ban. It will go into effect on Jan. 12, 2009, and prohibit smoking indoors at any public place in the county. Smoking will be permitted outside as long as it is a reasonable distance from a building so smoke does not drift in through open doors or into a structure's ventilation system.

"It is our intent to improve the health of Clark Countians and provide a smoke-free environment for all people to work in," said Clark County public health director Scott Lockard.

The ordinance will be enforced by health department staff and sworn officers. An individual can face a $50 fine while a business found to flout the ban can face progressive fines ranging from $100 to $500.