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Smokefree Natrona County Preparing for Referendum

Daniel Barry, Getty Images

Officials with Smokefree Natrona County say they’re dissatisfied with attempts by Casper City Council to amend the city of Casper’s public indoor smoking ban.

Council reviewed several ordinance revisions at its work session Tuesday night, including language that would allow smoking in Casper bars, taverns and private clubs.

Smokefree Natrona County representative Anna Edwards says council has put the rights of entrepreneurs ahead of the rights of workers.

“You know, they really missed the fact that the employees of the businesses that are being exempted from the ordinance aren’t being protected,” Edwards said. “Their health and their rights don’t seem to matter as much as the rights of the business owners.”

Edwards says Smokefree Natrona County will immediately launch a referendum after the ban is amended or repealed.

“We’re getting all of the research in to know what we need to do and how we need to proceed,” Edwards said. “The second we know, we’re going to jump on that and not waste any time.”

If the revised ordinance were to be approved, smoking would still be disallowed in Casper-based restaurants, taxis and publicly-funded buildings.

Some Casper-based business owners in the hospitality and service industries say they’ve seen steep revenue declines since the ban took effect last September.

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