In their meeting Wednesday morning, Henderson County Commissioners responded to public complaints and to a public health appeal from Dr. Robert Kiskadon, Chief Medical Officer at Pardee Hospital...and banned smoking around the entrances to all county buildings.

The Hendersonville Times-News reports...

The Henderson County Board of Commissioners voted 5-0 Wednesday to create designated smoking areas away from high-traffic areas on all county campuses.

Commissioners rejected an all-out ban on smoking at county properties, after hearing dissent from workers at the 1995 courthouse on North Grove Street, Emergency Medical Services facilities and board directors of the Department of Social Services . Smoking is already prohibited in county buildings and vehicles.

The commissioners also considered an option banning smoking within 50 to 100 feet of any county building entrance, since “the complaints we’ve gotten from citizens have to do with the ability to enter and exit buildings without being exposed to smoke,” said County Manager Steve Wyatt.

But those perimeters might be difficult to enforce, Wyatt said, whereas “it is very common and a normal practice to limit smoking to designated areas located away from entrance and general traffic areas; to separate the secondhand smoke from the folks who don’t care for (it), but have to do business with the county.”

Commissioner Grady Hawkins wondered whether there would be some kind of roofed shelter or ashtray available. Wyatt said his staff would work with department heads to identify areas away from entrance traffic “and put together something tasteful that would be attractive to somebody who wanted to go and smoke.”