The Zanesville City Council is considering ordinances that would designate the sidewalks surrounding City Hall and Secrest Auditorium as non-smoking areas.
Council President Dan Vincent and Councilmen David Tarbert and Grant Hutcheson are sponsoring the legislation. On Monday Amy Davis of the United Way explained how the issue is separate from current Ohio laws.
"The state law is simply about indoors, and if you’re smoking outside, the smoke can’t go indoors," said Davis. "This is a resolution saying that we’re going to ask you not to smoke outside. It’s not covered by the state ban, so there are no punitive punishments or penalties for it."
Davis said the Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department would enforce the resolution through awareness and education in lieu of fines. She said the goal is to change the culture of downtown Zanesville.
"Basically we want to promote a healthier environment in the community," said Davis. "We all know that secondhand smoke is very dangerous, and we want to provide an environment where individuals can come to City Hall and not have to walk through the smoke to get there."
Zanesville City Schools already has a smoke-free policy and the proposal has also been pitched to the Muskingum County Library System.