Group aims to make Mississippi smoke free - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Group aims to make Mississippi smoke free

Posted: Updated:
The American Lung Association's Jennifer Cofer told the group that Mississippi leads the nation in local ordinances prohibiting smoking. She is confident that eventually, all of the state will be smoke free. The American Lung Association's Jennifer Cofer told the group that Mississippi leads the nation in local ordinances prohibiting smoking. She is confident that eventually, all of the state will be smoke free.
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Mississippi now has 58 smoke free municipalities, which is about 24 percent of the state's cities.

Representatives from cities all around the state are on the coast for the Mississippi Municipal League convention. Tuesday, several of those cities were honored for being smoke free.

Representing Moss Point was that city's alderman at large, Houston Cunningham.

"We took the initiative to lead for something we feel is needed, not only for our city, but the entire coast," Cunningham said.

Also in the audience was Hernando, Mississippi Mayor Chip Johnson. A few years ago, while running for re-election, Johnson pushed hard for a smoke free ordinance for his North Mississippi city. A lot of people told him that such a decision, would be political suicide.

"My entire family said I would not get re-elected, if we went smoke free," Johnson said with a slight grin on his face. "I believed them, but I thought it was important enough that I could die on that sword."

The skeptics were wrong. Johnson won with 64 percent of the vote. He told the members of the Municipal League that going smoke free is not a political issue, but rather, a health issue.

Those fighting for more smoke free municipalities would like to see the entire state go smoke free. Even supporters concede they're a long way from achieving that goal, but progress is being made.

The American Lung Association's Jennifer Cofer told the group that Mississippi leads the nation in local ordinances prohibiting smoking. She is confident that eventually, all of the state will be smoke free. But, she added, it will be too late for those 504 Mississippian's she says died of second hand smoke just last year alone.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.