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On Special Assignment Preview: New smoking proximity rule - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

On Special Assignment Preview: New smoking proximity rule

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BILLINGS -  A new rule prohibiting smoking within 20 feet of public buildings in Yellowstone County goes into effect March 1.

The rule, approved by the RiverStone Board of Health in December, will also ban the use of e-cigarettes and vaping devices indoors, as well as prohibit smoking within 20 feet of any public building.

Supporters of the new regulation, known as Rule 7, say it keeps people safe from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.

"The Board of Health is very concerned about tobacco use in our city and in our county," said Michael Dennis, a member of of the Board of Health. "The toll that is taken on society by tobacco products is tremendous and, given our responsibility in the arena of public health, we thought it very important to proceed with Rule 7."

Those fighting the rule argue that the Board of Health is overstepping and that the rule is both unfair and unenforceable.

"The whole thought process behind it is kind of that cradle to grave idea that we're going to fix your health regardless of if you like it or not," said Corey Welter, a member of the Yellowstone Tavern Association.

Tonight at 5:30, we will take a closer look at Rule 7, what it is, who it effects, and how far some will go to stop it.

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