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Proposed smoking ban in Elkhorn City brings mixed reactions

ELKHORN CITY, Ky. (WYMT) - A proposed smoking ban in Elkhorn City is sparking a debate throughout the community. The ban would eliminate smoking in public areas, including restaurants.

Some regular customers, both smokers and non-smokers, at the Rusty Fork restaurant say they do not support the proposed smoking ban and believe it will hurt businesses in the city.

Non-smoker Jeff Wright says, "I know they smoke and I still go in, that is my choice, which it should be the same choice for people if they don't like it, they don't have to come in."

George Damron, says he enjoys going to the restaurant and spending time catching up with his friends, "That is my life, coming in here, having a cigarette, drinking coffee, and eating."

However, city council members believe a smoking ban needs to be put in place. Council member Butch Cure says, "A person should be able to bring their family into a smoke free environment where you can sit down and enjoy a meal."

Some employees at the Rusty Fork agree with the ban. "It would make the restaurant so much cleaner," says Jodi Mullins. Mullins has been around the restaurant for several years and believes it would not hurt business but increase it. Mullins explains, "A lot of people don't come in because of the cigarette smoke."

Council members say their desire to make the city safer and healthier is the motivation behind the ban. "The last thing I want to do is infringe on anybody's rights," says Cure.

The next city council meeting is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

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