Another City Considers Smoking Ban

By: Angela Sparkman
By: Angela Sparkman

Another eastern Kentucky city is considering a smoking ban, this time in Paintsville.

Organizers say this decision is about more than improving health it's also about boosting the economy.

Soon Paintsville restaurant customers may not have a choice of sitting in the smoking section.

The Paintsville Tourism Commission and the health department directors want to get rid of smoking sections, making all restaurants smoke free.

"We're not asking the public to not smoke. We're just asking the public not to smoke in the restaurants in the city," Connie Meek said.

Organizers say bans in other cities prove there's plenty of health benefits, but say this decision is also about the economy. Saying it will help businesses, not hurt them. Paintsville restaurant managers aren't fighting the proposed ban.

"People still need to eat as much as they need to smoke, one way or the other," Vicki Collins said.

Collins says other Bob Evans restaurants in the country are already smoke free, and they haven't seen a drop in customers so she doesn't think theirs will leave either.

Besides the potential for more customers, she says restaurants will get other benefits as well.

"The insurance will go down because they're less of a fire hazard. The total community benefits," Meek said.

No smokers we talked with wanted to go on camera, but they were evenly split on liking or hating the proposed ban.

The Paintsville City Council is expected to consider the proposed smoking ban at their November meeting.

They have to approve it twice before it can become law.


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