Smoking limited at Western Montana this year
June 18, 2012
Smoking at the Western Montana Fair will be limited this year, as Missoula County will restrict smoking on the fairgrounds.
A structure fire at last year's fair led to the smoking restrictions. "The buildings at the Missoula County Fairgrounds are old wooden buildings, many of which are of historical significance. Smoking is a public safety risk with the potential to cause fires, Western Montana Fairgrounds Director Steve Earle explained.
County commissioners signed the resolution banning smoking in early May, citing the structure fire during last year's fair that caused heavy damage right during a busy night at the fair. The ban applies to all public events at the fairgrounds, not just the annual fair in August.
"The buildings at the Missoula County Fairgrounds are old wooden buildings, many of which are of historical significance, " explains Fair Director Steve Earle. "Smoking is a public safety risk with the potential to cause fires."
Besides protecting the buildings, the county says the policy will improve the health of the community, pointing to the public health risks from smoking, and even second-hand smoke.
"This policy will limit secondhand smoke exposure to approximately 65,000 fair-goers," says Erica Rollins, Missoula City-County Health Department's Tobacco Free Missoula County Coordinator. Rollins continues, "Additionally, it [the policy] allows those at the fair to role model healthy behavior for young attendees."