Smoking banned in Martin County Courthouse

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

Until Wednesday, you could smoke inside the Martin County Courthouse, but it is now illegal.

The Martin County Fiscal Court passed an ordinance banning smoking in the courthouse and nearby annex.

Violators will face consequences.

Thursday morning Martin County leaders put up "no smoking" signs all over the courthouse.

Employees used to lighting up while working suddenly have to go outside. The Fiscal Court passed a smoking ban inside the building effective immediately.

"When you walk down the hallway at the courthouse and you see a lot of smoke, the public has to come through that. We felt it was a liability issue. We had a lot of people complaining that their eyes were burning, so we just decided to hunt up an ordinance." Says Martin County Judge Executive Kelly Callaham.

The ordinance had no opposition. Not even smokers are complaining.

"I think it's a good thing. I'm a pack a day smoker and due to the new ordinance, I would have already gone through a half a pack of cigarettes, so far today since eight o'clock to twelve, I've only smoked three cigarettes." Says K.C. Fitch, who works at the courthouse.

Non-smokers are celebrating.

"I think it's great! It already smells better. You don't have to walk through the smoke to come to work." Says Leigh Ann Crum, who also works at the courthouse.

Anyone caught not following the new rule will get a citation and have to pay a 250 dollar fine.

Offenders will get a warning during a 30 day grace period before they start issuing fines.

The new ordinance also bans e-cigarettes which creates a vapor.

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