NA mulls smoke-free ordinance

The New Albany Board of Aldermen will further examine a possible ban on smoking in the city’s restaurants and public buildings, after the subject was raised at Tuesday’s meeting.

Ward Two Alderman Johnny Anderson requested that the board look at instituting a smoke-free ordinance, loosely based on a similar ban in Tupelo.
“I’ve received some complaints about smoking in restaurants and I would love to see us [put an ordinance in place],” Anderson said.  “Maybe similar to Tupelo’s, but not as strict as theirs.”
Tupelo passed a smoke-free ordinance in 2006, which generally prohibits smoking in public places.  The law also prohibits smokers from lighting cigarettes within 25 feet of the front doors of restaurants and bars and within 10 feet of their back or side doors.
U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills denied a request from several businesses in Tupelo to stop the city’s enforcement of the ordinance.
In New Albany, a few businesses have already gone smoke-free, including Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County.
According to New Albany Mayor Tim Kent, Waffle House, which plans to build a restaurant in the coming months, would prefer to have a smoke-free facility.
“They said that they like to be smoke-free, but they follow the ordinances of each town they’re in,” Kent said.  “So if we don’t have a smoke-free ordinance, then they’ll allow smoking at their location.”
Anderson asked city attorney Reagan Russell to draw up a proposal for a smoke-free ordinance before the board’s next meeting on Oct. 17.  The board also voted to set a public hearing on the matter for 5:30 p.m., Nov. 1.