Health Department urges Fairfield not to weaken it's smoking ordinance

      {}Fairfield city leaders are battling over their smoking rules. They're trying to decide whether to keep to current restrictions or weaken the ordinance. It's a concern over community health or keeping businesses in town. The health department says this is something - not just Fairfield, but other cities in our area need to consider. Some city leaders say the code is too strict and it's causing a loss of business. But the Jefferson County Health Department says weakening it is dangerous. Tuesday night, Health Officer, Dr. Mark Wilson, and a representative from the American Cancer Society urged the council not to allow exceptions. {}He says if the ordinance is weakened at bars and hotels, non-smokers will be subjected to harmful second hand smoke and fumes in fabrics. Fairfield residents and several council members say they believe the ordinance is hindering businesses and driving residents elsewhere. They want to see designated smoking areas."We've lost over half a million dollars since 2011 because our smoking venders left," Sid Brewer, American Legion Fairfield said.{}"These are people who don't always have a choice in where they work and if they're exposed to cigarette smoke, it increases their risk of cancer, respiratory disease, heart disease and other problems," Dr. Mark Wilson, Jefferson County Health Officer said. "We feel all workers should be in a safe work environment."{}The Health Department says only 50 percent of cities in Jefferson County have an ordinance. It's hoping other cities will take note. Fairfield city leaders tabled the discussion to get more information before voting.