updated 5/10/2010 5:00:29 PM ET 2010-05-10T21:00:29

A proposal to regulate indoor smoking in northern Kentucky is expected to come to a vote this summer.

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An advocacy group, Northern Kentucky Action, has been lobbying for a smoke-free law in Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties for more than two years.

The group's proposal would include restaurants and other public places in the three counties, The Kentucky Enquirer reported. A coalition of small businesses, NKYchoice, is opposing any smoking ban. That group has argued that businesses should have the right to choose whether to go smoke-free.

Kenton County Judge-executive Ralph Drees says he wants a vote in his county in June. Drees said a majority of Kenton Fiscal Court supports a smoke-free ordinance.

"It has to be done while I'm here," said Drees, who is not seeking re-election.

The three Republican candidates running for judge-executive in Kenton County have said it should be up to individual business owners, not the government, to decide if anyone should be allowed to smoke in their businesses. The winner would face independent candidate Alyssa Dara McDowell, who has taken a stance on the issue.

Drees said late last month that he would prefer that all three counties adopt the same smoke-free ordinance. But he said he would back the measure if it has majority support in just two of the three counties.

"If we can't get Boone County on board, Campbell County pretty well said they thought they had the votes," Drees said.

Campbell Judge-executive Steve Pendery predicted officials will work together to develop an ordinance that all three counties can support. Pendery noted that "the vast majority of Americans already live in areas with (smoke-free) rules."

Boone County Judge-executive Gary Moore said he wants to see a final smoke-free ordinance before deciding how to vote on it. He said based on previous discussions Boone Fiscal Court has had on the issue, he doesn't think that government body currently has the votes to pass it.

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Information from: The Kentucky Enquirer, http://www.nky.com

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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