Starting next month, smokers in Paintsville will have fewer places to smoke as the Paintsville City Council approved a smoking ban in restaurants. This decision was about more than health, it was about business.
Smoking or non-smoking? That question will soon disappear in Paintsville restaurants.
Paintsville City Council approved a smoking ban for restaurants after the health department and the tourism commission requested it. Council members say there wasn't any strong opposition.
"I think in the long run it will be a benefit. It will not be a negative," said Nancy Price, Paintsville Tourism Director.
The group believes the ban will improve not only health, but also business. They say restaurants in other cities with smoking bans saw an increase in sales after their ban went into effect.
"No, there were no negative effects at all," said Vicki Collins, Bob Evans General Manager.
Tourism commissioners want the same in Paintsville.
"That's our job, our money comes from restaurant and hotel-motel tax," Price said.
Restaurant managers say more people want to sit in non-smoking sections. Once the smoking section is gone, there will be more tables to accommodate those customers, which they say makes a big difference on a busy night. Restaurant managers hope more available tables will attract even more people to eat.
"I sure hope so. We'd like to take care of anyone in Paintsville or anyone coming through Paintsville," Collins said.
"It turned out to be a win win for everyone," Price said.
Except for those who like a cigarette with their meal, but the smokers we talked to said they aren't upset with the ban and will just wait until they leave a restaurant before lighting up.
The smoking ban is scheduled to go into effect on January 31st.