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Public Forum Held On Possible Smoking Ban

By: Julie Maloney
By: Julie Maloney

The Barbourville City council held a public forum which allowed the community to discuss why they think a smoking ban should or shouldn't be created.

While some say they feel it's rude for people to smoke in restaurants, some smokers say a ban would be a violation of their constitutional rights.

Clarence Merida says he's been a smoker most of his life and he has a constitutional right to do so.

"I think they're violating our constitutional rights," Merida said.

The Barbourville City Council is considering some sort of smoking ban and if that happens and includes restaurants, Merida says he won't go out to eat anymore.

Merida says it's his choice when and where he wants to smoke.

But another woman, who has been smoke-free for twenty years, supports a smoking ban.

She says she lost her husband to cancer and says it's just not worth dying for.

"I really feel that if he quit smoking when I quit, 20 years ago, he'd still be here today."

Merida says he will continue to light up even though he himself has been diagnosed with lung cancer.

The Mayor of Barbourville, Pat Houser, says right now there are no plans to establish a smoking ban.

The city council is simply trying to gather opinions and see if a smoking ban would work in this community.


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