Booneville expands smoking ban to public spaces, workplaces
by Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
BOONEVILLE – Almost two years after enacting a smoking ban in restaurants that did not apply to businesses and other public places, the city of Booneville has passed a more widespread smoking ban.
On Tuesday the Board of Aldermen in a 3-2 vote approved a new ordinance – the Smoke-Free Air Ordinance of 2012 – that prohibits smoking in public places and places of employment.
“The smoking of tobacco is a form of air pollution, a positive danger to health, and a material public nuisance in the City of Booneville, Mississippi,” the ordinance reads.
“Accordingly, the City Board of Aldermen of the City of Booneville, Mississippi, finds and declares that the purposes of this article are to: (1) protect the public health and welfare by prohibiting smoking in public places and places of employment; and (2) guarantee the right of all citizens to breathe smoke-free air, and to recognize that the need to breathe smoke-free air shall outweigh the desire to smoke.”
Voting in favor of the new smoking ban were Aldermen David Bolen, Wilda Pounds and Jeff Williams. Voting against it were Aldermen Mark McCoy and Harold Eaton, said city attorney Daniel Tucker.
Williams threw his support behind the expanded ordinance, which Bolen and Pounds had supported in previous efforts to pass it.
The city’s broad no-smoking ordinance follows a move by Northeast Mississippi Community College, which banned all forms of tobacco on its campuses Jan. 1. The city ordinance takes effect 30 days after publication in the local newspaper.
“It’s wonderful and I’m so excited,” said Melissa Nash, coordinator for the Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition of Prentiss and Tishomingo Counties. “Mayor Joe Eaton has worked really hard on it. I think it’s a step toward Northeast Mississippi being healthier.”
Nash said her organization will provide “no smoking” window signs to any business that needs them with a call to her office at (662) 728-2450. She also has information about smoking cessation classes.
“We want to assist in any way we can,” Nash said.
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