In a few weeks, Spokane County waitresses no longer will have to ask customers “smoking or non-smoking?”
The county Health District Board voted unanimously Thursday to ban smoking in all restaurants within a few weeks.
Health officer Dr. John Beare was instructed to craft an ordinance and bring it back for approval in mid-December. The regulations will not affect taverns.
“This is one of the only things I’ve done this year that’s really exceptional, that made a difference,” said board member Steve Hasson, whose father died of lung cancer.
“This sets a precedent for a whole state. Lobbyists are probably going to freak out over this,” Hasson said. “We’re probably going to war over this.”
Ban supporters point to a 1994 poll showing six in 10 Spokane residents want smoking prohibited at restaurants. At the time, more than 130 Spokane restaurants already prohibited smoking.