Hopkins County prepares to go smoke-free

MADISONVILLE — Hopkins County will soon join other Kentucky counties and cities that have banned smoking. The regulation goes into effect Sunday and bans smoking in most enclosed public places. Exceptions include independently ventilated spaces where people younger than 21 may not enter; conference and meeting rooms used for private functions; and retail tobacco shops. The regulation does not limit smoking at outdoor places of employment or private homes, except those used as child care, adult day care or health care centers.

Some business owners have been enthusiastic about the ban, said Lisa Miller, the Health Department's tobacco prevention and cessation specialist. But business owners Thomas E. Richardson and James Haulk filed a lawsuit last week in Hopkins Circuit Court seeking to block the ban with a temporary injunction. And Hopkins Fiscal Court was presented with a petition with more than 2,000 signatures opposing the ban.

The health department said last week that it was moving ahead with plans for the ban despite the lawsuit.