A proposed smoking ban in McComb
restaurants may be considered as early as this week by the city's
board of selectmen.
Mayor Zach Patterson said he hopes for a vote at either
Tuesday's board meeting or no later than the Oct. 9 meeting.
"I think we need to be a leader in this issue," Patterson
Forrest Adair, who has been leading the effort, said the ban
also will include restaurants with open bar areas and city parks.
"This is an opportunity for McComb to be first in southwest
Mississippi," Adair said.
Smoking would still be permitted in freestanding bars or bars
closed off from restaurants, provided that the smoking section is
fully enclosed, has a separate ventilation system and separate
entrance, Adair said in a www.enterprise-journal.com article.
The ordinance would not forbid smoking outside of restaurants or
Adair said he would like the ban, if it passes, to take effect
on Nov. 15 to coincide with the American Cancer Society's Great
Nurse Cindy Johns, who also served on a panel that drafted the
proposed ordinance, said she is glad to see the ordinance gaining
"It's not about taking people's rights it's about health
issues," she said.
Adair said after Starkville established a similar law, business
"A healthy family atmosphere ought to be smoke-free," he said.
Enforcement details, including fines, will be up to selectmen,
Adair said. Restaurants that ignore the ordinance may also face
discipline from the city or Health Department.
If the ban passes, McComb would join a growing list of
Mississippi cities to prohibit people from lighting up in certain
Officials in Petal are also considering a smoking ban. That
proposed ordinance would prohibit smoking in most public places,
including restaurants and shopping malls.
Some cities, like Madison, have persuaded business owners to
voluntarily ban smoking.