Some aren't blown away with Diamondhead's 'No Smoking' ordinance - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Some aren't blown away with Diamondhead's 'No Smoking' ordinance

Soon smoking inside public buildings or businesses will be a thing of the past in Diamondhead. (Photo source: WLOX News) Soon smoking inside public buildings or businesses will be a thing of the past in Diamondhead. (Photo source: WLOX News)
DIAMONDHEAD, MS (WLOX) -

When Diamondhead's no smoking ordinance kicks in January 1, lighting up a cigarette will no longer be allowed inside any public building or business in the city. That ordinance was approved Tuesday by all city councilmen. Mayor Tommy Schafer, however, was not in favor of the ordinance.

Residents have mixed opinions as well. 

"I am a smoker, but I disagree with having smoking in public places like restaurants. You're around kids. Kids shouldn't be catching second hand smoke. It's not good. It causes cancer. And its very disrespectful for people who do not like to smell the cigarettes," said Evan Rezicka.

Diamondhead leaders said the ordinance is one of many ways it intends to become a more healthy town. While health may be a positive purpose, some said it has a negative impact on people's rights.

"You could either smoke or you don't smoke, but don't six people have the right to tell everybody in this city that they should not smoke," said Dan Wheeler.

"I think the establishment owners should have the right to decide on whether they want or don't want smoking in their establishment and not the few," said Robert Sutman.

"I think it is a true shame that certain people, or a handful of people, can tell a business owner an entrepreneur what can and cannot go on in his establishment," said Wendy McRaney.

At Park 10 Lanes, part of the business allows smoking on one side of the building, the other part does not. The owner said his only opposition for not lighting up is that he believes, "People should have the right to make their own decisions."

"I used to bowl and about two years ago the bowling alley voluntarily went nonsmoking. So why do we need government to tell them what they should do and not do?" asked Bill Godsend.

Over at Red Zone Grill, the owner there said though he supports the city's decision, he said he is going to lose some business, but will gain others.

"I don't smoke. So it doesn't bother me. But I don't want to be around it, I can tell you that much," said Eddie Bounds.

The ordinance also states smokers can't light up within five feet of any doorway to a public building or business. City leaders said businesses will be penalized if someone is caught smoking inside. Further details on that penalty are still to come. 

Again the ordinance doesn't go into effect until January 1, 2016.

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