As of October 1, 2008, a "smoking section" will be a thing of the past for six counties in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

Other changes may be in store for the region during the next few months, following a vote this week by members from the six county Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department.

The issue has been the subject of conflict within the official board.

Until 2008, board members hope to temporarily fix the problem by requiring that many public venues have a separate enclosed room just for smoking.

Many business owners claim they will be unable to comply with the specs for a separate smoking section, which will mean that all smoking will be eliminated in those facilities, mostly restaurants.

The smoking regulations affect Wood, Pleasants, Wirt, Ritchie, Roane and Calhoun.

The health board has been debating this issue for nearly six months and has held several public hearings.

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