Statewide Smoking Ban Considered

By: Jon Kalahar Email
By: Jon Kalahar Email

Thirty cities in Mississippi have smoking bans in place. There is a push now for a statewide ban.

"Generally we choose restaurants that are smoke-free," said Jeanette Gossett of Meridian, a lung cancer survivor.

Gossett said she knows the dangers of smoking and second-hand smoke. She now tries to stay away from both.

"I have a son who smokes, but he doesn't smoke around mom," Gossett said.

Right now, Gossett's hometown isn't one of the thirty cities who have passed smoking ban ordinances. But new numbers from a Mississippi State poll show 80 percent of Mississippians want a statewide ban in restaurants and workplaces.

"The less places people can smoke, it will help then, and it brings to their attention that smoking is bad," said Kimberly Hughes of the American Cancer Society. "Smoking around other people is bad; smoking around your children is bad."

The proposed legislation would ban smoking within twenty feet of workplace entry ways. The main opponent of legislation like this, the Mississippi Restaurant and Hospitality Association, says it will reserve comment until they see the bill in writing.

And once the legislative process is finished, the bill could look a lot different by the time it gets to the governor's desk for his signature.

"We've got our work cut out for us, to work with our leaders in this building to let them know it's time for Mississippi to join the other states," said Hughes.

The big knock against smoking bans, at least from a money-making point of view, is it decreases business.

According to Smoke Free Mississippi, the decrease only lasts a couple of weeks, then customers return.

Do you think Mississippi should have a statewide smoking ban in public places, including restaurants?

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by smokefreeanywhere Location: Texas on Feb 8, 2009 at 03:23 PM
    Try the new healthier way to kick the bad habit. View and experience Electronic Cigarettes. No tar, No chemicals.
  • by MM Location: Ms on Dec 16, 2008 at 11:27 AM
    A smoking ban is rediculous unless you ban the product first. Quit picking on the consumer and go after the big tobacco producers. Ban the sell then you want have to ban the use!!
  • by Teresa Location: Houston on Dec 11, 2008 at 06:46 PM
    Oh Please!! Of all things that Mississippi needs to worry about its not a smoking band! How about producing Jobs and getting the 75% of people off WELFARE! Mississippi has always been backwards and I see they are still heading that way.
  • by BOB Location: OHIO on Dec 10, 2008 at 07:52 AM
    I love it i can go out and eat and not have a smoker blowing smoke the smell is bad vote no smoking the bars and restarants are closing because people don`t have jobs not the smoking ban
  • by Tammy Location: Mississippi on Dec 9, 2008 at 08:42 AM
    I think the ban is a great idea! We as non smokers should have the right to not be subjected to the smoke. Just as you as smokers have the right to smoke. We are not taking it from you, we just dont want to have to smoke with you. Do it in your own air, not everyone elses.
  • by WORRIED Location: FARAWAY on Dec 8, 2008 at 12:38 AM
  • by LeeAnn Location: FL & MS on Dec 6, 2008 at 10:11 PM
    It is have been PROVEN that Smoking does NOT cause ONLY can contribute to cancer cells one already posesses!!! However, the hype from the media and elsewhere has people believing otherwise. Why aren't they going after people who ude cell phones and drive? I know of NO ONE who ever killed someone by smoking and riving, yet as a former Nurse I know of others who have killed people because they were too busy having a conversation on their cell phone to pay attention to the roads. Non-Snokers say they have rights, well to that what about SMOKERS RIGHTS? You can NOT have it both ways. A compromise MUST be found to include ALL people!!!! I am tired of having to fight a FALLICY and so many UNTRUTHS about Smoking!!! The "Dudley Do Rights" have gone after this with a vengence and if they win with this, what is going to be next? Amercia this is your wake up call....Start standing up for your rights before you have NONE left!!!!
  • by Anonymous on Dec 1, 2008 at 01:57 PM
    I don't mind if you smoke; but why should I have to breathe smoke from your tobacco? I'll be glad to say you can smoke right next to me, if you come up with a way to keep your smoke totally from reaching me.
  • by gale Location: enterprise on Dec 1, 2008 at 01:05 PM
    Banning smoking in public places is only going to take smokers dollars to places where can enjoy a meal and a smoke home. obesity is the number one killer, are you going to stop fat people from eating at buffet. or people who wear jeans from going to church,sure i agree there should be a seperate area for smoking, but to ban it no. people on cell phones trying to drive, and changing lanes, we all gonna die from something why not from something you enjoy.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 26, 2008 at 08:41 AM
    If people choose to smoke, that's fine. But the so-called "smoking areas" in most restaurants are a joke. If you're seated near the smoking area, you're breathing the smoke. I don't think it's going to kill me, but the smell is bad and very irritating to my sinuses. Unless restaurants *really* separate the two, there has to be a ban. Non-smokers outnumber smokers. Majority rule should apply. That's just good business. What would be best is if restaurants really separate smoking and non-smoking areas, with proper ventilation, etc. The fact is they don't.
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