Webster Co. supervisors talk smoking

The Webster County Board of Supervisors discussed a proposed smoking and tobacco usage policy for Webster County employees during their regular meeting Tuesday.

The policy would designate specific areas on county property as smoking areas, and would apply to the 2008 Iowa Smoke Free Air Act.

“We have determined there is a need to communicate a policy to county employees on smoking areas and prohibited areas,” said Amy Porter, Webster County human resources director.

Under the Smoke Free Air Act, smoking is prohibited inside county buildings, but may be allowed outdoors in designated areas. Certain areas outside of public buildings, such as adjacent sidewalks and parking lots may also be considered prohibited areas under certain circumstances.

Porter said county employees may smoke in their personal vehicles, even in restricted parking lots, as long as the windows and doors of the vehicle are closed.

“We need to try to find a designated area if we can that it is OK for employees to smoke on,” said Porter.

Kari Prescott, director of the Webster County Health Department said she would like to see a smokless campus, but, knowing that may not be possible, believes the proposed policy would be fair.

“Anything under the county’s jurisdiction is under your rule of thumb,” Prescott told the board. “But I feel the proposed policy is very fair to allow a designated area.”

“We recognize there is a law we have to follow but we need an area where people can go to smoke knowing they are going to smoke,” said Supervisor Mark Campbell.