Wednesday, November 22, 2006 - Allegheny County Council Loosens Smoking Ban - Allegheny County Council Loosens Smoking Ban (AP) PITTSBURGH Allegheny County Council has loosened its new workplace smoking ban even more.

The ban, which takes effect January second, bans smoking in any work place or public building and was passed to protect the health of people who are forced to work in those buildings.

But the amendment approved yesterday will let people smoke within five feet of a building's entrance, instead of the original 15-foot buffer zone in ordinance.

The smaller zone is meant to make it easier for patrons and employees to step outside for a quick smoke.

But opponents, including the five County Council members who voted against the amendment yesterday, say it will expose some employees -- like doormen and security guards -- to even more smoke than they faced before.

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