Western Montana Fair 2015 to be Smoke-Free
Western Montana Fair starts on August 11 and would last till August 16. Officials told it would be smoke-free.
Residents welcome the idea and even consider that it should be completely smoke-free in future.
Some want Missoula County Fairgrounds smoke-free once and for good.
In 2005, the state Legislature passed the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act which made it illegal to smoke cigarettes in indoor public spaces and it included the buildings at the fairgrounds.
In 2012, Missoula County Commissioners banned smoking on the fairgrounds but allowed tobacco use in designated outdoor areas. The decision was taken to reduce the risks for fires due to one case that occured in 2011 on the fair. Most of the structures on the fairgrounds are wooden and very old, and the August time when the fair takes place is usually hot and dry. Smoking behind those historic structures presents a real threat for public safety.
Moreover, smoking in the public place presents danger for non-smokers as it is a well-known fact that secondhand smoke has negative effects on people.
In 2011, the University of Montana campus became smoke-free and this was a great example for others. Missoula County made a step forward towards healthy environment when fair managers decided to restrict tobacco use to the beer garden during the fair. Todd Garrett, director of Missoula County Fairgrounds, told that concerns abot smoking appeared after a recent safety meeting.
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