Booneville mulls smoking ban in public places

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

BOONEVILLE – An April 5 public hearing will give Booneville residents a chance to comment on whether the city should approve an ordinance that bans smoking in public places.
The hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Booneville City Hall.
The city board has been discussing the issue for several months, and so far the reaction has been minimal, said Mayor Joe Eaton.
“To date, I’ve received only one negative phone call,” Eaton said. “We’ve also received a letter from Baptist Hospital supporting the proposal.”
A draft ordinance has been prepared using the Corinth ordinance as a model. Some elements of Corinth’s smoking ban ordinance are:
– All city-owned and leased facilities – parks, enclosed facilities, buildings and vehicles – would be subject to the ordinance.
– Smoking would be prohibited in enclosed public places.
– Smoking would be prohibited in enclosed public places in places of employment.
– Smoking would be prohibited in certain outdoor areas, including some distance from entrances and exits to places where smoking is prohibited; attached areas of restaurants that are covered or partially covered; and outdoor sports arenas, stadiums, amphitheaters and so forth.
– Smoking would not be regulated for private residences, except when used for child care, day care or health care facilities; private clubs that have no employees except when used for a function where the general public is invited; and outdoor areas of employment.
If the measure is approved, Booneville would join other Northeast Mississippi communities to ban smoking in public places, including Starkville, Tupelo, Oxford and Mantachie.
“Our city and county buildings already are no-smoking, as are many of the national chain restaurants,” Eaton said.

Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.