McComb city board to consider smoking ban

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 article.

The ordinance would not forbid smoking outside of restaurants or

other buildings.

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

American Smokeout.

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

largely improved.

"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.