The board is proposing a ban on smoking in indoor worksites and places where the public is invited. The law would not affect private residences. Hotels would be allowed to designate up to 10 percent of their rooms for smokers.
Ward 1 Alderman Jeff Olson argued for not adding exceptions.
"I agree with Amory, Clinton, Hattiesburg, Hernando, Kosciusko, Laurel, Meridian, Ridgeland, Starkville and Tupelo," he said. "I think they've got great criteria in their broad ban."
One issue on which the board agreed to vary from the state draft was to leave enforcement in the hands of police, dropping health workers and firefighters from the suggested enforcement clause.
Violations of the ordinance would be civil offenses rather than criminal. The fine for a smoker's first offense would be up to $50 with subsequent offenses fined at as much as $250.
Business owners or managers who ignore the law would be fined as much as $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second and $500 plus license revocation for a third in 12 months' time.
Ward 3 Alderman Tommie Beasley expressed doubts about the proposed ordinance because of existing noise and junk ordinances that aren't well enforced.
"If we get all these things on the books, when are we going to start really enforcing them?" he asked. "I've got two or three houses behind me that probably have 20 junk cars in the yard."
Linda Turner, a representative of Smoke-Free Air Mississippi, told the Daily Journal that secondhand smoke is a public health issue. While a statewide ban on public-space smoking would be the ideal, she said, "If we get it done city by city, we still have an impact on people's health."