COVINGTON, KY (FOX19) - The smoking ban in Kenton County went into effect at midnight on Friday.
All public establishments in the county now have to post no smoking signs at all entrances, remove all ash trays, and educate their employees about the law so they can enforce it.
Private clubs and drinking establishments or bars that meet certain requirements can apply for an exemption.
"Families come down and eat lunch and dinner, eat outside and out on the patio. I think that is where it will hurt us," said Gerry Blaschke, owner of Cosmo's in Mainstrasse. "And we are already struggling with people going someplace else other than the village, it has been kind of slow."
"If there are places down here that have to turn away people because of cigarette smoking, and we don't, I think we can obtain some more business out of it," said Curt Zinga, general manager of Village Pub.
The no-smoking ordinance does include punishment for violations. The first violation will result in a warning with a $100 fine, and for each violation after two, it's a $250 fine.
More than 5,500 businesses will be affected by the law, and many business owners across the county say this ban will hurt the bottom line.
The Northern Kentucky Health Department has helped by distributing tool kits, posting sample signs and reminder cards on their website.