City Passes Smoking Ban

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email

Smoking will be banned in all enclosed public places in Pikeville, starting November first.

The ban also includes some places outdoors and violations could mean hundreds of dollars in fines or shutting down businesses.

Health problems make Karen Branham wish she never started smoking.

“I believe I have the right to smoke but I believe that others have the right not to have to inhale it,” Karen Branham said.

That's why she's okay with not being allowed to light up in any restaurant, building entrance, or even at a football game.

“I have no problem with others choosing to smoke. However, this is a life choice that I have declined to make,” Adam Handy said.

Kids like 16-year-old Adam Handy, who shared his opinion at the second reading for the ordinance, are the main reason for the new ban.

“This commission and the mayor has stood up and said, our children are important. and you know it's hard to argue against the livelihood, or the life of a child,” City Manager Donovan Blackburn said.

But not everyone agrees.

Some employees at Jerry's Restaurant were not allowed to go on camera, but they say the ban is bad for business.

Branham says she'll eat at Jerry's as much as she always has.

“If I go out to eat, I can wait until I leave the restaurant to smoke,” Branham said.

People caught breaking the new rules next month face a 50 dollar fine per violation.

Businesses could be fined up to 250 dollars, or lose their license to operate after repeat offenses.

Smoking will still be allowed in free-standing bars where smoke cannot drift into any other enclosed public space.

Officials say they may modify rules in the future to clarify any gray areas.

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